And More… Really fashion illustration is almost any illustration whose focus is on fashion, accessories, and related media. Rather than telling a story about the illustration subject, fashion illustration tells stories about clothing, handbags, shoes, jewelry, and more. Almost anything that calls for illustrated work could contain fashion illustration, and specializing in this sort of design work makes for a broad range of client possibilities.
For the mature women who chose to dress more modern, there were styles that were modest and simply decorated. Lane Bryant was one of the first mail order catalogs to design garments for the mature, plus size and maternity market. Most of the Lane Bryant fashions were modeled after the same designs worn in the mainstream, however, designs were usually of dark solid colors or small all over prints with vertical lines created by long pleats, long lapels, and narrow belts. These style details slimmed the body and looked flattering on women of all ages. Shop plus size dresses and mature women’s dresses (modest.)
Consider the illustrations that still appear on sewing patterns today. While many companies that manufacture sewing patterns have turned to actual photographs of the craft product itself, many of them stick to the age-old style of drawings and paintings showing the pattern designs in completed form on imaginary models. Companies like Simplicity and McCall’s still use fashion illustration on their products, as well as continuing to produce vintage patterns whose packaging design styles have inspired fashion illustrators for decades.
1918 was the last year of the first World War. With it began a change from war time austerity to freedom in dress and fit and color. Both women’s and men’s 1918 fashion were at a pivoting point, lasting until 1922 when the roaring twenties changed things again. For women, fashion was looser with shorter … Read More about Fashion in 1918 – Women and Men During WW1
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.
Back in the 80s, curls were 100% the hairstyle to have. Straighteners were out and curlers, crimpers and perms were everywhere. Girls loved their curls and why not? They brought volume, life and waves to their hair. Now, thirty years later, everything retro is back in fashion and women everywhere are realizing that the 80s rocked – especially when it came to fashion.
“Photography has long been considered superior to illustration when it comes to selling magazines” says Downton. “But it’s like asking what an apple can do that a banana can’t. I think they have a symbiotic relationship. Illustration changes the pace of a magazine as you read it; and you project your own finish onto the story which gives a different sense of satisfaction to the reader.”
Although bodies may have seemed slimmer during the 1920s era, this was an illusion as most women dressed to flatten their bodies – the kind of underwear we wear today was unheard of in the twenties. The corselette offered a whole new way of shaping the body, and unlike the corsets that had gone before, in the Edwardian period, the corselette didn’t press the waist in or lift the bust, but flattened the chest and held in the hips.
There were many rich Russian émigrés to Paris in the years preceding the 1920s, and their style greatly influenced the master couturiers. They favoured fur-trimmed clothing, and you’ll see that widely on 1920s garments, and not only outwear – there were fur edges on skirts and cardigan cuffs and collars as well as appearing on jackets, coats and hats. The popularity of a fur stole never waned and fox, mink, rabbit, Persian lamb and “foxine” (cheaper fur dyed and treated to look like fox) appear slung over shoulders or firmly grasped. Fake fur had yet to make an appearance in 1920s fashion
It is all about showing off your best features. Let all the best things about your out there to get the attention of male. Mostly accompanied by heels, shorts or tight skirts, this style leaves the bare minimum for imagination. Exposure is to be at the maximum and as much as skin is shown. Tight fitting tops are chosen to show off the features like breasts and stomach. This is the type of fashion which is not every woman’s cup of tea. You got a lot of guts to pull off this one.
Yves Saint Laurent became popular in fashion circles due to his creativity in redesigning the clothes considered to be masculine into beautiful, feminine wardrobe for women. Perhaps, one of the most famous fashion designers in France, Yves was the first one to introduce power dressing for women in the form of “power suits” in the year 1966. He is also credited with designing the men’s smoking jacket. The most important fashion legacy which he has left behind is the “ready-to-wear” fashion clothing.
Undoubtedly it's harder to project our own identity onto a famous supermodel draped across a staircase, or align one’s own reality with the digitally enhanced, perceived perfection of a fashion shoot. An illustration is more translatable - it allows for a different daydream. And in a world where reality is often all too stark, and fashion can be somewhat daunting, it's not surprising that our artistic tastes are erring on the side of a little escapism.
"If one door closes, another opens – don't be discouraged by a commission which falls through because there are plenty other opportunities waiting for you. If you already exchanged some emails with a client, there's still a chance that he'll remember about you the next time and/or will recommend you to other potential clients. Take it as a lesson of enduring such situation humbly." — Ewelina Dymek
As with most freelance illustration careers, creativity, organization, dedication, and a love of the subject matter (in this case all things fashion) are necessary skills for illustrators. Projects and clients may vary, but the need for fashion illustration always seems to crop up for a variety of reasons, and fashion illustrators will be there to fill the role.
A woman’s most common social activity was having tea with friends (or a lunch for businessmen). Tea parties could be semi-formal or formal. A tea dress was an afternoon dress made of lighter, brighter materials and more trim. The afternoon dress was a thing of sophisticated beauty. White dresses worn in summer were very attractive while pastels or rich jewel tones offered variety in the other seasons.