November 20, 2010

on fashion illustrations

Fashion illustrations are something I don't really understand. At school they teach us all these techniques to make the drawings look as realistic as possible... draw out the stitches, put some shadow here, some creases there, it's all about being meticulous...but I think the drawings turn out tacky that way.

I have no idea if this is true but I remember reading somewhere that Rei Kawakubo would gather her patterners together, and then drop a creased handkerchief on the floor, point to it and say, "that--that's what I want!" And somehow that makes a lot more sense to me than drawing these bland detailed drawings of clothes that haven't even been made yet.

Whether or not the story is true, one of the most appealing things about CdG, to me, is the sense of freedom you get from the clothes. You can totally picture Kawakubo dropping the handkerchief and her patterners going "hmmm.... yeah, I think we could do that". They don't let themselves get all tied down by the general rules or clothesmaking. And I think that sort of freedom is only possible if you're completely open and free of petty expectations at the outset. You start with a feeling. Not with the number of buttons or the type of cuff you want to use. Becuase if you start with that, that's all you're going to get.

I was looking at a Rene Gruau book the other day, not all of his work is my cup of tea but he is the perfect example of the sort of illustrator who gives you the freedom to imagine, and I like that


Emmanuelle said...

i love fashion illustration, but a lot of it passes under my nose these days - this sort of illustration should have a vey strong atmosphere, because in the end, isnt that what will draw you to the clothing? the vibe of the image, the spontanietity and freedom of the clothes the model i "wearing", they should make you feel something, like... if you were to own a pice of clothing like from the picture, you would hope to wear it with some sort of freedom - i think too many details restrict that.

(also ive read your blog three times over. i love it so much!)

Glowing Doll said...

I agree. I realized the other day that Alber Elbaz's illustrations look like some of my (paint)computer drawings.I like that. Everyone knows he can make clothes so why not draw however he wants?

Maya said...

oh wow! What glorious pictures, I totally see what you mean =)

It's interesting that you talked about CDG seemingly free flow of construction but then these pictures have that feel but are more anchored in.

It must depend on personality and style, a perfectionist wants things to be literal and exact- no leaving things to chance.

galatea. said...

how classic! i would totally frame all of these and put them up on my room x


Flaunt It said...


This is a fantastic idea for a post! I love fashion sketches they are so pretty and take a lot of talent to draw!

Great blog...keep it up!

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Annushka said...

Your blog is very interesting))) I love this post!!!

Adnan said...

I agree with you! Fashion is about experimenting with colors, shapes, fabrics, lengths, etc. There are too many people that thinks: "shirt, pants, shoes = outfit" but you can do so much more with an outfit!
That way Rei makes clothes is a perfect example of thinking outside the box (and isn't that just another wonderful reason to love her?)

Maria said...

the first two works especially are stunning - very very inspiring, and as you said they leave something for the imagination.

A La Mode said...

I totally agree with you, leaving room for imagination is important for me and I love Gruau's work for that reason.

It's so funny about Kawukubo handkerchief, she is so inspired, not tied down by the old dusty rules of dressmaking.

Very inspiring to hear xx

Jillian Hobbs said...

these are so gorgeous... and all the vibrant colours

and i couldn't agree more about fashion and experimentation... really wonderful

Mitchie said...

hmmm I never thought about that!
I guess you are right, but I still like the illustrations because they are pretty!

a reference said...

I love these! I wish illustration was used more in magazines.

costra y ampolla said...

these are all gorge, love the one of the blond girl on a chair.

Amazon Coupons said...

There are truly amazing.
Idea of the picture is awesome and the most important and beautiful thing is the color scheme.
I love it.