A brief intro to Fashion Illustration

After flipping through the pages of ‘The Simpsons go to Paris with Linda Evangelista’ on Harper’s Bazaar August 2007, illustrated by Julius Preite, which has already been posted in our forum by uberboston. And W magazine November 1999 fashion spread of Daria wearing designer outfits, I now strongly believe that illustrating fashion is totally a COOL thing!
Daria on W magazine, November 1999

Fashion illustration has existed a while ago. Wikipedia stated that it has been around for nearly 500 years! “Ever since clothes were first created, there has always been a need of a fashion illustrator to translate an idea or image into the garment.” Remember the renowned Takashi Murakami illustrations on Louis Vuitton leather goods? or the old vintage Vogue covers from the past? From its first launch in 1916 to early 1930’s most of Vogue covers were illustrated, instead of using photograph of models, socialites, and celebrities.
images courtesy of vogue.co.uk/CoverArchive

With my little knowledge of fashion illustration, I then rely on Google to find out more about it. According to Wikipedia, there are 3 (three) broad groups designated for the artists of fashion illustration: the Sensualists, the Gamines & Sophisticates, and the Technocrats.
- The Sensualists are categorized to be strong, silent, and their work shows the presence of the artist his/herself.
– The Gamines and Sophisticates create imaginary worlds inhibited by vivid characters. They borrow elements of charicature and cartooning.
– And the Technocrats, they use computers in a way in which are revolutionizing illustration. All of the Technocrats draw but do not end with hand illustration. Technocrats digitally transform illustrations and work towards a final computer generated product.

If you’re familiar with Jordi Labanda goodies which I’ve always been a fan of his stationery products from note books to mouse pads, his illustrations are categorized into the Gamine & Sophisticates.

Ruben Toledo, who is a regular illustrator for Nordstrom ads, is a Sensualist.
ruben toledo-nordstrom

Meanwhile Jason Brooks, the one who illustrates the famous Hedkandi CD covers and Guerlain’s Colours of Love, is a Technocrat.

I’m pretty sure I’m missing several prominent names in this post, as there are many talented fashion illustrators out there that haven’t been mentioned or maybe discovered. If you happen to know anything, feel free to share it with us =)

Sources and images: wikipedia.org, FD forum, fashionista.com, nordstrom.com, vogue.co.uk, jordilabanda.com, jason-brooks.com, outpost-daria.com, google.com


++ new update ++
Last night, I went browsing through a number of inspiring fashion illustrators online portfolio and couldn’t resist to share them with you, so here they are:

verhoven Julie Verhoeven

How on earth could I forget her? Her whimsical illustrations have appeared on The Face, Self Service, Dazed and Confused, just to name a few. She’s well known for her collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton in designing the limited edition of the famous Conte de Fées line in 2001 and her illustration has also appeared on Lancôme Juicy Tubes.


Fashion Illustration Gallery

FIG features a great number of world renowned fashion illustrators.


Eduard Erlikh is a fashion illustrator with great credentials, his illustrations have appeared on Vogue Sposa Italia, Vogue Nippon, Bloomingdale’s, Lanvin Fall 07, Balenciaga Spring 07, etc.


wacker eins! is Berlin based illustration team whose works have been published on The Big Book of Fashion Illustrations.


Lulu, a fashion illustrator who has been featured on Illustrations à la mode and the Mondofragile‘s Mascotte! book… thanks to loucee for providing us the link to Mondofragile :)


Kun-Sung Chung is a Technocrat, I believe, whose works have been featured on The Big Book of Fashion Illustrations and the Italian’s Vicolungo outlets.


The Fashion Spot

has an active forum which talks about fashion illustrations, featuring the work of Charles Anastase, the one who illustrates the Choice Calvin Klein ad campaign (image taken from Style.com).


Folioplanet and Illustration provide a great online source of fresh and hip fashion illustrators.

Sources and images courtesy of: designerhistory.com, lancôme-usa.com, google.com, pisa.com.hk, fashionillustrationgallery.com, erlikh.com, wacker1.com, plasticpirate.com, mondofragile.com, kschung.com, thefashionspot.com, style.com, folioplanet.com, illustrationweb.com