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.
Musicians and college kids often wore wide striped blazers over white pants as a summer outfit. This look was popularized by Barber Shop quartet singers, ragtime pianists, and traveling salesmen (aka The Music Man.) Some costumes skip the blazer and wear a striped vest, bow tie and armbands/sleeve garters instead. A straw boater hat completes the festive summer outfit.
From the beginning of the century, modern art shocked the world: cubism, fauvism, futurism, constructivism and the Weiner Werkstatte suggested a different kind of aesthetics that was radically simplified which not only affected pictures on walls but fashion, too. A lot of modern artists worked with fashion houses to design clothes and some, such as the Futurists, directly mentioned clothing in their manifestos. This had quite an influence of female dress, which moved towards a straighter, less complicated silhouette.
Preparing for the 2020 Great Gatsby event with a 1920s tennis outfit theme begins now! I have always wanted to do this theme and Oscar picked up some tennis sweaters and vests earlier this year so we are almost all set. Our friends are joining us for a group costume-along which always makes it more … Read More about 1920s Tennis Clothes | Womens and Men’s Outfits
"I get requests from potential clients via email asking if I'm available and explaining what they would need me to do. I then draft and send them an estimate for them to sign. I first do a rough sketch, take a picture of it to send to the client for validation. Once it's been okayed, I finish it in black and white and if needed, I add color later using pencils as well.
Surprisingly, wearing Sunday’s best was not part of the ’20s culture unless a woman was poor and only had one nice outfit– then, certainly, she MUST wear that to church. Otherwise, whatever she wore for streetwear she also wore to church as long as it was modest with long sleeves and a below the knee hemline. If a sleeveless dress was worn a light shawl, wrap or jacket acted as a light coverup. Simple, non-distracting clothing was appreciated in church. Women were required to wear a hat, gloves and matching purse. These three accessories polished her look and gave her permission to add personality to an otherwise conservative dress. Shop 20s dresses.
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.
Tom Ford, counted among the most famous designers today, whose portfolio includes serving as a creative director for both Yves Saint Laurent and Gucci, wanted to be actor when he was growing up. He was born in Texas and even took training to be an actor. But fate had other “designs” for him. Tom ford popularity as a designer reached peaks when in the year 2000, he was declared the winner of the Best International Designer Award.
Sports clothes for men included a pair of pants or knickers called plus fours. These knee-length pants were paired with a patterned sweater or pullover vest and a long sleeve button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Argyle was a common sweater or vest print as well as a print for tall socks. Clashing colors were in style! An 8 panel cap (newsboy cap) was also worn and a pair of two-tone Oxfords or saddle shoes were snazzy.
Savage Beauty, Independent Kostym and Min Boudoir Magazine did a collaboration that covered the look of the 1920’s until the 1950’s. It was published a few months back in “Min Boudoir # 5”. If you are interested in the retro, burlesque, vintage fashion and lifestyle of this era, this is a good magazine to pick up. I did all the make up and shot all the photos for this project. My sister Amanda Martinez was in charge of the costume styling to get the perfect and accurate look of the decade. Here is the english and un-edited version, showing more pictures from our project. Next week we will cover the 1930’s!
Paris was still the centre of fashion in the 1920s. If a dress didn’t come from Paris or wasn’t a copy of something that came from Paris, it simply wasn’t fashionable. But the good news: Paris was really into the simplified silhouette. So simplified that “sack” was a word regularly interchanged for “dress” – some frocks consisted literally of only two pieces, front and back with arm and neck holes. This could easily be made on the mass market or even by the home sewer. Sewing machines were becoming more affordable and most middle class households had them by now. A dress as simple as this could even be hand sewn fairly quickly and easily. It meant that 1920s fashion could be followed by the middle and working classes – quite a revolution.
"Getting exposure is not always easy, we are in a competitive industry, so you should build up a solid web presence. I consider having a clean, eye candy and updated professional life online is very important to get your work seen: website, blog, social networks, specialized sites such as Behance, or maybe a newsletter. I found Instagram the best social tool for fashion illustrators" — Cristina Alonso
Susie Lau's Style Bubble has been going for over a decade and includes intelligent articles on everything from underground global fashion talent to perfume. She also provides fascinating behind-the-scenes pieces on the real work it takes to create a beautiful Chanel garment. Then there's the tongue-in-cheek Man Repeller run by Leandra Medine and her team. Its smart, witty take on fashion is refreshing. And if over-the-top clothes aren't your thing, we've also found plenty of bloggers with more pared-back styles for the minimalists.