Wednesday, 27 October 2010


For a long time, illustration was the prime medium through which fashion was communicated to the general public, gracing major magazine covers and billboards as a matter of course. In Vogue, for example, the illustrator was given the power to integrate the magazine title into the cover as he chose, which is a telling example of how much power was invested in the creativity of illustration: a familiar logo is now considered one of the key assets of any brand, especially in the publishing world, where it must be picked out on a newsstand among dozens of other similar glossies.

(American Vogue 1937 and 1920)

For reasons chronicled better elsewhere than here, however, fashion illustration underwent a steady decline throughout the 20th Century, exactly opposing the stratospheric rise of photography which was soon the only way to depict clothes and the models wearing them. But recently there's been a sudden rush of articles in weekend culture magazines, and monthly fashion glossies, and even the 'what's on' sections of free London dailies, about fashion illustration and its resurgence. And now (if you live in London) there's a load of illustration-related stuff to see.

3. Fashion Illustration Gallery (you can see a load of their prints here-for some reason parts of their site didn't load on my computer, but maybe that's just my internet malfunctioning).

Alternatively, if you don't live in London or have a busy busy life, you can stalk the internet.
1. David Downton, who kick-started all these articles earlier in the year with his new book, has a naice site. He's one of the most well-known illustrators of the moment: he draws the Fenwick adverts, and W H Smith sell cards with his drawings on. (Oh yes, I'm that cool).

2. Garance Dore, who is now more well-known for her photography and nifty videos, started out as an illustrator. While I've never actually seen any of her drawings in print, there's no doubt that she'll have gained exposure via her blog.

3. Random post on Dorothea Barth Jorgensen's blog which was what prompted me to do this rather lengthy post in the first place. She interviewed an illustrator in her sweet way-always love reading her slightly broken English.



Anonymous said...

The news in the States have reported it.

I love illustrations. If you good at it, it can really open up some doors for you in the fashion world. Too bad, I am not skilled for it.

Rebecca from See You in Sweden said...

I love seeing the illustrations to what people are really wearing. Want to hang it on my walls :)