The Spanish fashion designer Cristobal Balenciaga was born on January 21 in 1895. After studying dressmaking as a child, by age 20, Cristobal started his own brand and became Spanish’s leading couturier. In 1937, he moved to Paris due to the Spanish Civil War. Balenciaga’s designs are famous by its capes, flowing clothes without waistlines, as well as the use of plastic for rainwear. Cristobal died in 1972 in Valencia, Spain.
Fashion designer Jimmy Choo was born in Penang, Malaysia in 1961. He used the craftsmanship he learned from his father, also a cobbler, to create some of the most coveted shoes in the world. Choo opened his first shop in Hackney in 1986 in an old hospital building. Within two years of opening his shop, Choo’s shoes were featured in an eight-page spread in Vogue magazine. Soon, Choo became the darling of the celebrity world, in particular Princess Diana, who donned Choo’s footwear seemingly everywhere she went. Jimmy Choo rose to fame for the quality and style of his handmade women’s shoes.
The balance line should be a straight vertical line, even if you want the model to pose in a leaning position. For example, if you want the the model to be posed with her hips tilted slightly to her left, draw a straight balance line in the middle of the page. You want this line to extend from the top of the model's head to the ground that she is standing on.
A super adorable blast-from-the-past fashion style, the 50s look is all about bright and pastel colors (unless you’re doing a more ‘pinup’ theme, then you’ll wear black and red very often!) in adorable fashions, usually featuring an assortment of flowers and polka dots. Women will typically either wear a high ponytail or lovely curls with this fashion, and poodle skirts are an absolute must.
Undoubtedly it's harder to project our own identity onto a famous supermodel draped across a staircase, or align one’s own reality with the digitally enhanced, perceived perfection of a fashion shoot. An illustration is more translatable - it allows for a different daydream. And in a world where reality is often all too stark, and fashion can be somewhat daunting, it's not surprising that our artistic tastes are erring on the side of a little escapism.
One of the most acclaimed fashion designers in the world, Karl Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg, Germany. As a teenager, Lagerfeld worked at Balmain for four years before moving to Jean Patou where he became artistic director at 21. His prolific portfolio now encompasses Chanel and Fendi along with his own house. Known for his bold designs and constant reinvention, he’s been hailed Vogue magazine as the “unparalleled interpreter of the mood of the moment.” King Karl, the one-man multinational fashion phenomenon.
Most of the illustrators I spoke to studied design in some capacity. Rodgers, who has worked with everyone from Cartier to Coach to Disney, studied industrial design at Carnegie Mellon and went on to work in apparel design, illustrating in her spare time. Jenny Walton, a part-time illustrator who has worked with Harper’s Bazaar and InStyle, studied fashion design at Parsons, and says that her figure drawing classes were immensely helpful. “To be good at drawing, it takes a lifetime of drawing for hours and hours and hours,” she says.
A picture tells a thousand stories and considering the noise that surrounds the launch of every issue of Vogue - endless hashtags and chatter about the cover model, photographer and pose, it seems inconceivable that covers in the past featured fashion illustrations elaborating far more detailed stories. The romance of images by John Ward and Carl Erickson, surrealism of Dali and Benito, and art deco of Bernard Boutet de Monvel, Georges Barbier and Harriet Meserole spun tales of arctic explorers; tennis players; bridal marches; world travellers; golfers; race drivers, actresses, mothers and lovers. In the days before photography became fashion’s key documenter, fashion illustration was just as emotive and colourful - if not more so - as the images burned onto our retinas more recently by Penn, Bailey, Day, Meisel and Mert & Marcus. Call to mind the images created by Rene Gruau as Dior’s artistic director in 1947 - there is no doubt as to the part illustration used to play in fashion storytelling.
The top icon of fashion design, Elsa Schiaparelli was born on September 10, 1890, in Italy. After working at a boutique in New York, Schiaparelli moved to Paris, where she began designing her own clothes. Her work and sense of style shaped the look of fashion in the 1920s and ’30s, and her clothes were worn by some of the world’s most famous women, including American actress Greta Garbo. Schiaparelli died in Paris on November 13, 1973.
Hairstyles, color, and textures can do a lot of an overall design. Different types of hairstyles may be worn by different people for a variety of reasons. Consider the way in which culture and ethnic heritage may affect the types of hairstyles a figure could wear. Not only will you be telling a story about who the person is or where they may be from, but you’ll also be allowing limits for the hair’s movement and style itself.
Donatella started to work for her brother Gianni in the late 1970s, serving as his muse and adviser. Then she became the designer for the company’s Versus line in the 1980s. After her brother was murdered, in 1997, she became creative director of the Versace Group. Donatella made sure that Versace shops would be on different fashion centers around the world, particularly Milan and New York. Top celebrities like Jennifer Lopez and Madonna have endorsed the company’s collection of clothes, accessories, fragrances and home furnishings.
When all of the designs are completed and set out the financial parameters then range planning is required. A range plan is an overview of your total design collection like from how many styles you will have, to what fabrics and colour ways will be used. It is used before you start into large scale production. It is extremely useful for you to follow as a designer. But most importantly it gives buyers a clear conception of your vision.
One of our favorite italian fashion designers, Miuccia Prada was once a member of the Italian Communist Party and a mime student. She was an unlikely entrepreneur when she took over her family’s luggage business in 1978. She first dazzled the fashion world in 1985 with a series of black nylon handbags and backpacks. Prada is now a billion-dollar company. Beginning with Prada’s first ready-to-wear collection in 1989, she established a techno minimalism based on pared-down design, innovative fabrics, and computer-enhanced patterns that have become influentially iconic.
In the past two years I have designed four dress collections (Time flies!). Each time I’ve shared a collection here we have received tons of requests for a how-to post about fashion sketching. I am self-taught (and still learning!), but I thought it would be fun to share a little bit about my process. I hope that some of you feel inspired to pull out your pens and pencils and notebooks today. Fashion sketching isn’t nearly as intimidating as I once thought it would be.
I don’t know what style category I fit into. I seem to have casual, sexy, girly, punk and tomboy. I even like the sporty style. It actually depends on my mood but most of the time, I like romantic clothes with lace, chic stuff, and if I don’t feel like dressing up, I just want casual or tomboy. Usually with crop tops and high waisted jeans. What….am I???