Most of the illustrators I spoke to studied design in some capacity. Rodgers, who has worked with everyone from Cartier to Coach to Disney, studied industrial design at Carnegie Mellon and went on to work in apparel design, illustrating in her spare time. Jenny Walton, a part-time illustrator who has worked with Harper’s Bazaar and InStyle, studied fashion design at Parsons, and says that her figure drawing classes were immensely helpful. “To be good at drawing, it takes a lifetime of drawing for hours and hours and hours,” she says.

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.”
One of the most acclaimed fashion designers in the world, Karl Lagerfeld was born in Hamburg, Germany. As a teenager, Lagerfeld worked at Balmain for four years before moving to Jean Patou where he became artistic director at 21. His prolific portfolio now encompasses Chanel and Fendi along with his own house. Known for his bold designs and constant reinvention, he’s been hailed Vogue magazine as the “unparalleled interpreter of the mood of the moment.” King Karl, the one-man multinational fashion phenomenon.
London designer Mary Quant was not only an iconic fashion design but also the imortal creator of the miniskirt. Mary had an art-school background and had been designing and manufacturing her own clothes since second half of the twentieth century. She was convinced that fashion needed to be affordable to be accessible to the young, she opened her own retail boutique, Bazaar, on the Kings Road in 1955, introducing the “mod” era and the “Chelsea look.”
The people who prefer this are the ones who require everything at best quality. Nothing satisfies them if it is not worth the trouble. They often look for styles that make a statement on the quality, polished manner and culture. Most of them are the ones who are from higher status and are also in a way related to how a businesswoman would dress up. Sophisticated can be characterized as businesswoman minus the formal look. Culture and luxury mean the most to the people who choose this style of fashion.
Yamamoto was born in Yokohama, Japan on October 3, 1943. He studied law at Keio University and graduated in 1966 with a law degree. He continued his studies on fashion design at the famous Bunkafukuso Gakuin, a fashion institute in Tokyo. Yamamoto blends the exotic and powerful designs of traditional Japanese dress with Western daywear, and achieves a unique, abstract style.  He is an uncompromising, nontraditional designer.  Yamamoto drapes and wraps the body in unstructured, loose, voluminous garments, similar in style and philosophy to those of Rei Kawakubo.  Many of his clothes have additional flaps, pockets and straps.
Preparing the Reference Photograph 6m Drawing Our Vector Portrait in Illustrator 11m Shaping the Vector Portrait with Line Work 12m Establishing Line Work for the Hair 13m Adding Definition to Our Vector Portrait 11m Finalizing the Definition to Our Vector Portrait 8m Applying Dark Contours to Our Vector Portrait 10m Constructing the Model's Jacket 10m Implementing a Shine and Shadow Effect on the Jacket 12m Coloring the Model's Eyes, Hair, and Lips 8m Polishing the Illustration 9m Creating Splatters to the Illustration 9m Finishing the Splatters on the Illustration 9m Transforming the Splatters Using Texture Effects 10m Applying Mixed Media Elements to the Illustration 10m Adding the Tattoo and Scorpion Silhouette 9m Organizing Abstract Vector Shapes to Composition 10m
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.
Most of the illustrators I spoke to studied design in some capacity. Rodgers, who has worked with everyone from Cartier to Coach to Disney, studied industrial design at Carnegie Mellon and went on to work in apparel design, illustrating in her spare time. Jenny Walton, a part-time illustrator who has worked with Harper’s Bazaar and InStyle, studied fashion design at Parsons, and says that her figure drawing classes were immensely helpful. “To be good at drawing, it takes a lifetime of drawing for hours and hours and hours,” she says.
Ralph Lauren is known for his desire to control every facet of his company’s image: some of his ex-employees tell tales of a control freak with a quick temper and little patience for mistakes. In fact, the whole Lauren saga, with its many reversals of fortune and huge comebacks, was recorded with biting accuracy in the nasty, unauthorized tell-all book, Genuine Authentic.
Today, A-list stars such as Michelle Pfeiffer and Jodie Foster often opt for his evening suits and gowns when they walk the red carpet. Armani delivers elegance that is never overtly sexual or brash. For today’s power brokers and celebrities, owning Armani suits and separates is a status symbol – his clothes always send a message of quiet confidence.
Jean-Paul Gaultier is a French fashion designer born on 1952 in Val-de-Marne, France. At age 18, he joined the house of Pierre Cardin before moving on to Jacques Esterel and Patou. The appearance of Gaultier’s collection was in 1976, but his own design house was only launched on 1982. Jean Paul Gaultier‘s sensual, irreverent style continually challenges stereotypical femininity, ignoring traditional gender roles by embracing androgyny and the freedom of sexuality. His style is known to challenge standard views of fashion.
The very first collection of Christian Dior called ‘New Look’, was destined to become a turning point in women’s fashion. His very feminine ideal fashion designs became a sharp contrast to the harsh post-war vogue from that time. Christian Dior came to stay for a long time! Today, the fashion house Dior is on top of the fashion industry, and Christian Dior himself definitely was the best clothes fashion designer.

Valentino started his brilliant and admirable career in the world of fashion in 1950 when he moved to Paris to study design. His classically elegant and feminine designs made women look utterly glamorous. The Italian maestro worked at houses Dessus and Laroche before going back to Rome to set up his business in 1959. By the mid-1960s, Valentino was a favorite designer of the world’s best-dressed women, including Jacqueline Kennedy. Among his signatures is a particular fabric shade, known as “Valentino red.”
It’s also an aggression-free means of emotional expression in a world which can all too easily descend into trolling bile, and worse. “The collaboration with Gucci increased my following by 30k almost overnight and yet I didn’t receive one negative comment,” says Downie. Even when her work has generated controversy, she doesn’t enter verbal (or text) discussion. “I just paint the answer.”
It’s also an aggression-free means of emotional expression in a world which can all too easily descend into trolling bile, and worse. “The collaboration with Gucci increased my following by 30k almost overnight and yet I didn’t receive one negative comment,” says Downie. Even when her work has generated controversy, she doesn’t enter verbal (or text) discussion. “I just paint the answer.”
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Known for his stunning couture designs and his sophisticated women’s tuxedo jackets (known as le smoking), Saint Laurent was destined to carve out his own identity, but his career was not without its challenges. After a poorly received collection at Dior, which featured hobble skirts and other unusual designs, he was sent into mandatory military service. The stress of being in the army (although he lasted only 20 days) took a tremendous toll on the sensitive designer. He suffered from teasing and hazing by his fellow soldiers, and he soon plunged into a nervous breakdown; he was sent to a mental hospital for treatment.
This is where fashion illustration may collide a bit with editorial illustration. Perhaps you’d like to illustrate the figure walking down a runway or through a busy city. Allowing a simple background into your work may help viewers understand the context for where or when a design is worn. Please note, however, that if a background is busy, it may overwhelm the fashion design itself.
Gather magazine clippings, images, bits of fabric, natural materials, or anything else that is relevant to your page. Sort through them to decide which items are essential and which items are optional. Take a few pieces of sturdy paper and play around with different arrangements. Once you have settled on an arrangement, glue or tape the pieces to the paper or papers to create a collage page. Note that it's probably best to do single-sided pages, so that you can move them around freely if necessary.
A picture tells a thousand stories and considering the noise that surrounds the launch of every issue of Vogue - endless hashtags and chatter about the cover model, photographer and pose, it seems inconceivable that covers in the past featured fashion illustrations elaborating far more detailed stories. The romance of images by John Ward and Carl Erickson, surrealism of Dali and Benito, and art deco of Bernard Boutet de Monvel, Georges Barbier and Harriet Meserole spun tales of arctic explorers; tennis players; bridal marches; world travellers; golfers; race drivers, actresses, mothers and lovers. In the days before photography became fashion’s key documenter, fashion illustration was just as emotive and colourful - if not more so - as the images burned onto our retinas more recently by Penn, Bailey, Day, Meisel and Mert & Marcus. Call to mind the images created by Rene Gruau as Dior’s artistic director in 1947 - there is no doubt as to the part illustration used to play in fashion storytelling.
Like Halston, Calvin Klein epitomized disco glamour in the freewheeling late Seventies. His tight designer jeans, which clung to the sleek bodies of the greatest beauties of the day, including the young Brooke Shields, cemented his fame and made him millions of dollars. However, Calvin Klein’s reign continued well into the 80’s and 90’s – his spare, stripped-down designs offered a minimalist perspective that carried a very modern message. The use of sexuality in his ads was often a keystone of his success; his campaigns were designed to send overt messages and perhaps to shock. Today, his empire is still strong, despite some turbulence in the late nineties: his suits, dresses, and couture still offer a unique viewpoint.
Fashion. Fashion is completely transparent. It’s fun, it’s confusing, and it never dies off. Fashions from the past are still being worn by women across the country and new fashions are being designed every day. There’s SO many different fashion styles, and we’ve come up with a list of the top 20 looks, from elegant to gothic, exotic to casual, and everything in between.
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