Fashion illustration has been around for nearly 500 years. Ever since clothes have been in existence, and there has been a need to translate an idea or image into a fashion illustration. Not only do fashion illustrations show a representation or design of a garment but they also serve as a form of art. Fashion illustration shows the presence of hand and is said to be a visual luxury. (Drake, 9).
Texture and Textile Types: Knowing how to illustrate different textile types goes hand-in-hand with understanding how clothing works. The viewer wants to know if a dress is made of silk or tweed. They are such different types of textiles that perhaps just the way they move over a figure may be enough. If, however, you’re trying to illustrate the difference between chiffon and organza, you’ll need to know how stiff or soft each fabric is, how textured it feels, whether it’s opaque or translucent, or which fabric is typically used for certain dress styles or occasions. Being able to communicate these details to the viewer without having to label them is a brilliant skill to have. Practice this by drawing swatches of fabric and studying various types as well as studying how other illustrators have tackled textures within their design work.
Gabi Gregg set off on this journey to tackle the infuriating gap for plus size women. She started off a blog about a decade ago to show and pave a path in a way that promotes body positivity while being impeccably stylish, vibrant, and colorful. Her outfits are full of life just like her, and so is her clothing line Premme, which caters to plus sizes. She brought, what she calls ‘the fatkini’, by collaborating with ‘Playful Promises’ and ‘Swimsuits’, and showed us how it’s done. We need more women like her, and thanks to social media, we get to follow her around.
Ralph Lauren is worth $7.5 billion, and he got it all because of his fashion sense. In 1970, the first Polo logo was seen in Lauren’s line of women’s suits that was designed in the classic men’s style. Two years later, the famous short sleeve shirt with the Polo emblem appeared, and it soon became a classic. These shirts have been collected by men all over the world ever since. Lauren, on the other hand, has been collecting rare and classic cars. The collection is so unique that it has been featured in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.
“It’s changing, and it’s becoming a much more friendly industry for women particularly,” says Susannah Garrod, who studied fine art at Central Saint Martins and now counts Vogue, Jimmy Choo, Emilia Wickstead and Jessica McCormack as clients as well as contributing to the Fashion Illustration Gallery stable run by William Ling. “Instagram allowed me to record more personal, rather than client-based work - which in turn generated more work ... as a 'jobbing' illustrator it’s been rewarding to be commissioned for work in my own right rather than creating illustrations strictly dictated by the client. These days fashion illustration is appreciated by a more social savvy audience as an art form rather than a 'paint by numbers' necessity to record. People are looking for something different if they commission a fashion illustrator rather than a photographer - it’s no longer the 'poor relation' but an intimate way of interpreting fashion which stands the test of time as a commentary on the industry as a whole.”
Pretty much everyone I interviewed has a good, well-viewed social media presence. Whether on Instagram, Behance, Twitter, Facebook, or other sites, each artist connects with their public, regularly updating with artwork, prints or products they produce themselves, or in-process pieces meant to engage the viewer and get more potential clients to their accounts and portfolios. When it comes to niche design jobs, you want to do everything you can to sell your work on your terms and get the word out that you’re available for hire or have artwork for sale.
A tailored dress made of a silk blend crepe or wool was also appropriate. These dresses featured a natural waist sash in the early 20s that gradually moved down into a drop waist with a thin belt. Dresses fit loose and usually slipped on overhead. A small collar or wide open flat collar with a bow tie at the neck was essential to the 20s wardrobe. Details were added to the dress that elongated the body such as vertical pintucks, a row of buttons, and pleated skirts.
(Above) Even working at a silk mill, young women took the time to stay on the fashion trend. Here a worker in 1924 has the latest bobbed haircut and what appears to be a canton silk (silk and cotton) blend dress with embroidered waistband. The working girl on the left is wearing a gingham print cotton house dress with white collar and black leather belt.
We could all use some fashion inspiration, and that’s why we rounded off some of the best out there. Not all of us can afford designer collections or limited editions, but we can surely pick up from the cues these bloggers give away, and style our outfits to make them look exciting, if anything. Who are your style icons? Do you have fashion gurus you follow? What are your go-to fashion blogs? Let us know by dropping in a text in the comments section below.
Athleisure is the trend that keeps giving, and its latest offering is as unexpected as it is stylish. The bike shorts were worn with blazers by many style-savvy showgoers this fashion month. Offering a fresh blend of sportswear and tailoring, the look was both striking and chic. Of course, while it may not be appropriate for either the office or the gym, the outfit is perfect for strutting the streets or attending Sunday brunch with your best friends. So, don’t be afraid to try it for yourself.
Loose wave perms are a great choice if you’re not totally committed to having super curly or wavy hair. As the name suggests, this type of perm creates loose waves which can be easily compared to the beach wave look, something which looks fab come summertime. It can be done on any length of hair but the longer the better in this case or the waves likely won’t have much effect on your look.
A career as a fashion illustrator typically requires a bachelor's degree in graphic design or a related field. Those interested in pursuing this career will need to build a portfolio to showcase their work to potential employers. Fashion illustrators use art to express fashion designs and ideas, and they may be employed by publications, studios, fashion designers or clothing manufacturers.
All in all the twenties were a popular time of increasing awareness of women’s rights, a more liberal attitude to fashion that stayed, with shorter knee length hemlines staying in vogue. It was a period that embraced a period of peace after one of the worst wars Great Britain had seen so far. The car became more popular, entertainment included going to the movies, radios were starting to make an appearance and some women had been given the vote.
The first world war was over in Britain in 1918 – of course its immediate effects were going to be felt well into the 1920s, as well as resonating through the entire lives of those who lived through it. During the war women had been catapulted from their roles as almost hidden “domestic angels” into public life and a much wider range of jobs than they had ever had before. This required a wide range of outfits of a comfortable and practical nature that they weren’t about to relinquish.
Chanel was really in her element here, and this is when she invented the ‘Little Black Dress”. Another 20’s couturier of note is Madeline Vionnet, who designed clothes to accentuate and celebrate the natural line of a woman’s body. Her bias cut designs caused silk to fall in a new way, clinging and draping in all the right places. They were supremely elegant.
While women’s hats varied greatly in style, men’s hats were the opposite. For the most part, men wore black, blue or some shade of brown. Their hats were typically made of felt and were the same collegiate style you see in every 1920s period movie you’ve ever seen. If it wasn’t a fedora-style hat, then it was a wool, snap-front newsboy hat. This lack of variety makes sense; it was not common for men at the time to be wildly flamboyant.
Speaking of which, it's also quite common for freelance fashion illustrators to sell prints and assorted art merchandise, whether handled and printed themselves or by a third party, in order to increase chances for a steadier income. It's, of course, entirely up to you if you wish to offer printed works of original pieces, but establishing the marketability of artwork is often a plus for freelancers.
Preppy girls, often named simply ‘preps’, love to rock a college-inspired wardrobe. Their hangers are lined side to side with girly blouses with matching collared tees as well as a-line skirts and tights. Her hair is almost always amped up with a cute little headband and she usually wears glasses- whether she really needs to or not! This style may appear geeky and slightly luxurious, but the look itself is really not expensive and extravagant at all.
Another formal suit worn by business executives, politicians, and grooms was the morning suit. It consisted of grey and black striped pants, grey vest, black morning coat, wingtip shirt, tie, and top hat. It was a style that was fading quickly except on special occasions and with the upper classes. It has come back around again today in wedding attire for grooms.
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