One of our favorite italian fashion designers, Miuccia Prada was once a member of the Italian Communist Party and a mime student. She was an unlikely entrepreneur when she took over her family’s luggage business in 1978. She first dazzled the fashion world in 1985 with a series of black nylon handbags and backpacks. Prada is now a billion-dollar company. Beginning with Prada’s first ready-to-wear collection in 1989, she established a techno minimalism based on pared-down design, innovative fabrics, and computer-enhanced patterns that have become influentially iconic.
“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.”
1. Create a good croquis. A croquis is the basic drawing of a model pose that you can trace over and over again while sketching your fashion ideas. You can find croquis to use online or in books, or you can create your own. I created my first croquis years ago by tracing a pose on a vintage pattern. Typically, croquis are exaggerated tall model forms. But what if you want to design for someone else, say a child or a plus sized woman? Make your own! Here’s how I do it…1. Print a photo that has a good pose and body form that you want to design for. I chose a couple photo with my husband because sometimes I enjoy designing “his and her” looks. 2. Using window light, trace the basic body shape on a new piece of paper. 3. Use your new croquis, by tracing over it with a fresh sheet of paper, to sketch your own new designs over and over again. Fun, right?!2. Don’t stress, just practice. Instead of stressing over getting the perfect sketches, just start where you are and practice. Before I shared any of my sketches (even with my friends) I was sketching for a whole year in secret notebooks. Each time a notebook was full I would rip out my favorite designs and start a new one, throwing the rest out. Nothing can replace quality practice time. It’s the only way to grow and develop. You’ll gain confidence as you go!