Fashion Illustration

Fashion Illustration is the art of communicating fashion ideas in a visual form that originates with illustration, drawing and painting and also known as Fashion sketching. It is used mainly by fashion designers to brainstorm their ideas into paper or computer, using digital software like adobe photoshop and illustrator, which helps them to communicate easily with their team. and fashion sketching plays a major role in designing to preview and visualize designer thoughts and make decisions before going to actual clothing to reduce any wastage. Apart from fashion designers, fashion illustrators get commissioned for reproduction in fashion magazines as one part of an editorial feature or for the purpose of advertising and promoting fashion makers, fashion boutiques and department stores.

Fashion illustration is an artistic activity consisting of drawing design for fashion clothes intended for publication, for example in a fashion magazine or poster. Appeared at the beginning of the nineteenth century, it is made by painters and designers. Very closely linked to haute couture, fashion illustration has had decades of glory since the beginning of the twentieth century when the year 1908 with the first publication of fashion designer Paul Poiret symbolically marks the transition from a static and dated illustration to an illustration. modern, creative, innovative. Already omnipresent, she knows, from the 1930s to the end of the 1950s, her time of glory by magazines and advertising: illustrators are recognized artists. Replaced by fashion photography whose history completes it, it eventually disappeared almost completely in the early 1960s, with the notable exception of its representative René Gruau or some resurgences such as Antonio Lopez. Nowadays, fashion illustration is very rare in advertising or magazines, but a new generation of illustrators, around the year 2000, perpetuate and renew this art.

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.

Fashion Illustration has gone from being one of the sole means of fashion communication to having a very minor role. The first photographic cover of Vogue was a watershed in the history of fashion illustration and a watershed mark of its decline. Photographs, no matter how altered or retouched, will always have some association with reality and by association truth. I like to think of them [fashion Illustrations] as prose poems and having more fictional narratives. They are more obviously filtered through an individual vision than photos. Illustration lives on, but in the position of a poor relative to the fashion.

A designer starts with an inspiration and brainstorm ideas to rough sketches on sketchbook.These rough sketches are then transferred to croquis and rendered to a fashion sketch applying the texture, color, pattern and details with the help of art materials.

The fashion illustration, consisting of engravings or etchings, is dated to the sixteenth century with great explorations and the discovery of new territories: the collections are then made up costumes from several countries of the world.

Towards the end of the seventeenth century, the first newspapers were published, particularly in France during the reign of Louis XIV, with what could be considered “the first fashion magazines”. These publications evolve and culminate until the end of the eighteenth century. After the Revolution, the center of important publications passed from Paris to Germany and then to England. The beginning of the modern fashion illustration, initially by anonymous artists, is located approximately from the beginning of the nineteenth century. From the middle of the century, Paris becomes the capital of fashion and remains a reference for illustrations. The recent fashion photography, nascent, is notably inspired by the fashion illustrations of the time made of poses frozen in artificial decorations; at the end of the nineteenth century, the creativity of illustration surpassed that of photography; but these two representations of fashion are still, at the beginning of the twentieth century, turned to the past, with strict clothing codes: with the exception of Charles Dana Gibson, the fashion illustration is “moribund on the plan aesthetic”. At that time, fashion illustration is seen more as a craft than as a form of pictorial art.

The Italian portrait painter Giovanni Boldini is considered by his peers as one of the first illustrators of fashion, whose name is recognized; he will be a notable influence of the coming generation of illustrators with Sargent. The Journal des dames et des modes, an elitist magazine, groups together as painters, couturiers and writers, leaving ample room for illustration; the latter is then developed from the pictorial technique of the stencil: the paint is applied layer by layer, color by color, through cut metal plates. Fauvism appears at the beginning of the century, followed by cubism, currents that are quickly found in the illustration of fashion and will renew it. In parallel, the Man Arrow Collar (in), under the features of J.C. Leyendecker, is created.

Before the First World War, Paris is the capital of fashion, but also Art: painters, poets, decorators, composers, theater people … rub shoulders there. Haute couture and fashion design are inseparable, like Paul Poiret giving himself the services of the young Paul Iribe who innovatively illustrates Paul Poiret’s dresses told by Paul Iribe, then Georges Lepape three years later for The Things of Paul Poiret. The realization of Iribe brings the illustration to the rank of art, laying the foundations of the twentieth century drawings. A few years after Poiret, Jeanne Paquin asked Iribe, Lepape and Barbier to create a portfolio of her creations. In this effervescence are created many journals. Lucien Vogel and Michel de Brunhoff founded the Gazette du Bon Ton, a new generation of artists, writers, and illustrators … The decorative arts of the time, such as Art Nouveau, Cubism, or Art Deco among others , enter the illustration which is a reflection of the time; the inspiration of the illustrators comes from the theater.

More recently, there has been a decline of fashion illustration in the late 1930s when Vogue began to replace its celebrated illustrated covers with photographic images. This was a major turning point in the fashion industry. Laird Borrelli, author of Fashion Illustration Now states,

The “French School” takes precedence over American illustrators. Some illustrators, like Drian, Benito, Erté, or Christian Bérard become particularly recognized, the American magazines Harper’s Bazar or Vogue, the French Femina or L’Officiel, publish the biggest names of the moment. Magazines become essential to spread the fashion. Fashion design becomes less static, not only having an artistic approach, but also descriptive, and is geared towards reporting: fashion shows, daily life, cocktails … are common, like the work of René Bouët-Willaumez . In the early 1930s, color appeared more widely in fashion illustrations, first in the American edition of Vogue cover and then in the inside pages. The surrealist movement enters fashion magazines; the illustration is also evolving towards a “new realism” from its demonstrative form to a more artistic orientation of which Eric is the representative. But the revolution of fashion photography will gradually change the place of illustration, everyone gradually getting his favorite field: photography to fashion and illustration to advertising. Nevertheless, the diffusion and the influence of the fashion magazines progress, absorbing the artistic currents of the time, photography in parallel with the illustration will profit both from these evolutions.

Trend that began well before the War, the period sees the restriction of the budgets of the illustration to the benefit of photography: the illustrators, who have, for the most part, all worked either for advertising or for shows, go , or return, more and more to these areas. In the mid-1950s, Kenneth Paul Block, with his charcoal technique, joined the team of half a dozen illustrators of the Women’s Wear Daily; he will remain there for 42 years, until the closure of the “Illustrations” department of the professional magazine. In the 1960s, the fashion world is in full revolution: the fashion capital moves from Paris to London, the ready-to-wear will upset the clothing in the years to come, the pop-art and the hippien movement influence the fashion illustration … The death of René Bouché in 1963, which nobody tries to replace, symbolically marks the end of the ubiquitous fashion illustration in magazines. It is a time of lean cows, the fashion illustration seemingly reserved for advertising, lingerie, and accessories. Photography reigns fully; fashion photographers like Richard Avedon or Irving Penn, for example, are the masters. The mishandled illustration is going to take refuge in the magazines for teenagers: alternative less expensive than the photography, it serves to inspire or to suggest, far from the principles of the haute couture not adapted to the readers of these publications. There will still be some fashion magazines, especially professional, to publish the work of the designers: International Textiles (in), the Official Fashion, WWD, or Sir retain the services of the best illustrators. Some rare artists, including Gruau but also the young Antonio, considered after his death as “the quintessence of the fashion designer”, remain remarkably.

From the 1980s, fashion illustration seems to find a little space in publications. The prolific Antonio Lopez, with his style always ahead of fashion and his varied techniques, is at the top of his career38, Tony Viramontes is noticed Fashion in painting, an avant-garde fashion magazine, fully illustrated, appears, as well as in the United States the new version of Vanity Fair, or the following decade the elitist Visionary (in V) and will open their pages to the illustration, just like Wallpaper in a broader context than the fashion. Some illustrators, such as precursor Jason Brooks, make their computer creations.

In the 2000s, the illustration seems to find a significant place in the world. David Downton, initially an illustrator with the most varied subjects and who began in 1966 with haute couture before abandoning the subject and then returning to it, is recognized by its classic but modern approach to fashion illustration.