A mother-of-four, Downie clearly has a knack for “accidental” success having initially touched upon the fashion scene via a short stint making jewellery at her kitchen table which was selling at hip Covent Garden store Koh Samui in the late Nineties - before “one day I was cooking fishfinger sandwiches and [Net-A-Porter.com founder] Natalie Massenet calls up to ask if she can buy some for this new online thing she was doing”. Whether professionally trained or not, she’s keen that fashion illustrators are worthy of being called artists regardless of their status in relation to photographers. Certainly her own work is now bought by collectors all over the world at prices akin to fine art, regardless of what her subjects are depicted wearing. Citing the work of her Gucci collaborator Ignaci, as well as that of Kelly Brennan and Jill Button, “it crosses the line of design and fine art”, she says. “Whatever that umbrella term can be called. It shouldn’t be relegated to just fashion illustration.”
Carol Marie is an awesome New York-based jewelry line designed by industry vets and close friends Heather White and Jennifer Kramer. Their vintage-inspired statement jewelry launched for fall 2010 and has already been picked up by Henri Bendel, Shopbop, Revolve, Free People, Endless and several other smaller boutiques and websites. Both designers still work in the fashion industry--Heather in PR and Jen in editorial--but have managed to grow a successful jewelry line on their off-hours. The young designers have proven that it is possible to have success in the middle of a recession by making smart decisions and really cute jewelry. Despite juggling multiple jobs, Heather and Jen took some time to answer our questions. Click through to find out how they're making it.
Sure, it’s a green dress, but is it silk, tulle, or a heavy woven material? The way it’s drawn, the way it drapes around a figure, and even the way it’s colored or painted should give the viewer an idea of the sort of textile being depicted. At the very least, I want to understand what a garment may feel like when worn. If I’m being sold clothing from an illustration, for instance, I should be able to figure out if the clothing is warm and cozy or light and breezy. You’ll want to viewer to understand if the textile is smooth and soft or stiff and itchy.
“It was the death of the last grand master, René Bouché, in 1963 which really signified the end of classic fashion illustration,” says David Downton, who has almost single handedly kept illustration in the limelight over the last 20 years having sketched in the front row of the couture shows for the last 40 seasons straight; illustrated countless celebrities for Vanity Fair and, in 2009, drawn Cate Blanchett for a record-selling anniversary issue of Australian Vogue - as well as having played “artist in residence” at Claridges for the last decade where he can often be found in Le Fumoir sketching anyone from Julianne Moore or Grace Jones to Michael Caine. “It coincided with the rise of the celebrity photographers - and fashion always voraciously wants what is new.”
Whatever the catalyst, fashion illustration is having 'a moment’. It has been fidgeting the industry for some time - perhaps since Nick Knight introduced Helen Downie’s Unskilled Worker into fashion's limelight two years ago, and it’s now truly kicking. Grace Coddington and Michael Robert’s GingerNutz story in our December issue - whose cover itself generated a multitude of illustrated versions that flooded the social channels - stands as definitive proof. The video of Coddington talking about it generated 10,000 views in its first twelve hours on YouTube, while Caroline Stein’s Instagram version of Pat McGrath’s LABS generated 100 likes-a-minute for the first hour it was live. People clearly like looking at it.
Much like showing the texture, weight, and limits of movement within a textile, being able to render various objects so the viewer understands what they’re comprised of not only helps communicate concept design and storytelling within a fashion illustration, but also allows the viewer to better connect with what’s been drawn as being analogous to a real-world object or familiar material.
He rebounded in the 60’s and 70’s, designing his own line and stunning Paris and the entire fashion world with his own brand of French elegance. However, the stress of his work led him to abuse booze and drugs; in time, the fragile designer’s health became precarious. By 1987, he was unable to fulfill his responsibilities, and allowed others to design his prêt-a-porter line.
A designer with a notorious past, Christian Dior was also known for being in cahoots with the enemy during WWII, when he dressed Nazi wives and French collaborators in his designs. Despite this questionable choice, he still rose to prominence during the late-forties when the war was over…primarily due to his unparalleled mastery of line and shape. He gave women a desirable “flower silhouette” which always featured a nipped-in waist, a full, voluminous skirt, and a feminine, corseted bodice. Often, the hips of his suits and dresses were padded to balance the bust line and accentuate the wasp-waisted effect.
The college look would be the tag most suitable for the preppy look. The collared T-Shirts are matched and A-line skirts are matched with girly blouses that are lined up in their wardrobe. A cute little headband and geeky glasses mostly do accompany with this style. The geeky look might seem to be an expensive style, but it is not required to shell out much to get this look as it is not that luxurious.
Casual is a combination of elegance with comfort. This simple style has caught up well with the passage of time and is one of the most sought after fashion styles as of now. None of the exotic and bold items will be in the wardrobe of a woman who follows casual fashion. They would prefer to put on a white T-Shirt and black pants over tight and uncomfortable exotics any day. They tend to keep it simple and match the accessories with whatever the simple clothing they are wearing. See Causal look shopping on Christmas Season.
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.
Make sure that these works incorporate a range of different types of styles or approaches to fabric and materials. You shouldn’t include more than two pieces from one style or approach. For example, maybe you have two pieces that showcase your ability to work with leather. You should also include one to two pieces that show off your ability to work with a different material, like silk or jersey. This will illustrate that you are able to work with several different materials and in several different styles.
“I love a woman, I love to judge how beautiful she is, how beautiful I can make her.” Here at KOKET we are as in love with women as Cavalli. This italian designer Roberto Cavalli presented his first collection in 1970 and came to be known for his lavishly printed and colored leatherwear and denim. In 1999, he introduced menswear and eyewear and followed with Cavalli Jeans (later renamed to Just Cavalli) in 2000.
It’s not hard to point out a gal that wears the cowgirl fashion style! In this particular style, there’s a few staples that are an absolute must for the wardrobe: undoubtedly an adorable cowgirl hat, typically in either some shade of brown or pink, a pair of flared blue jeans with western themed leather belt, denim jacket to match, a pair of cowgirl boots, and a few white t-shirt and plaid button-ups.