After photographic images began to grace Vogue’s influential covers in the 1930s, fashion illustrations ebbed back to its primary use: design. However, in recent years these style delineations have taken on a new identity with the help of a collective awakened appreciation (Instagram) for contexts of process and study. Today these contemporary fashion illustrators flirt with the edge of sketching and art, working outside traditional realms of editorial features and advertisements. Presenting some truly unique fashion illustrators in time for New York Fashion Week 2016.
Blair Breitenstein’s fauvist illustrations of top models in their designer wear gives a new perspective to the ways in which idealization is beheld, revered and represented to consumers.
Anouk Colantoni’s use of rough lines in her cheeky sketches poke fun at generic, standard ideals of desire with a playful hand.
Meagan Morrison’s distinct technique and skill in her mixed-media works elevate her fashion illustration to new levels of style.
Bil Donovan’s dainty dames explode with a riot of color, giving shape to his designs through patterns and Matisse-esque lines.
Dallas Shaw’s wide oeuvre of illustrations show off a variety of techniques with influences ranging as far as Degas’ legendary dancers.
Mixing fashion illustrations with pop art ideals, Donald Robertson reflects back at the viewer the de-sensitization of how we view fame and our idols, when a person becomes a mere product, through Warhol-ian repetition.
Bringing a practiced hand to the lines, faces and textiles of her subjects, Jenny Walton’s figures explode with imagination and flair.
Megan Hess’ detailed prints employ the use of patterns and simple, but meticulous, lines to depict the ways in which fashion is not limited to the cloth but is an all-encompassing aesthetic in all aspects of our environment and our lives.
Photographs, no matter how altered or retouched, will always have some association with reality and, thus, truth. For all that, fashion illustrations are like prose poems and, having more fictional narratives, are filtered through an individual vision. Click here to see the schedule for 2016’s Spring/Summer NY Fashion Week.
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