Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Return of the Fashion Illustrator

Illustration by René R. Bouché, Condé Nast

 I always look at artwork in vintage fashion magazines with a fond nostalgia, wishing maybe that a modern version of that same creativity appeared more often in today's magazines. With the popularity of photographs in digital media and the rampant use of photo-shopping, the sight of an illustration for me is refreshing rather than antiquated. An illustration is more engaging: it doesn't just depict a model in designer clothing, but conveys how that artist feels about fashion. There's a mood, a feeling in an illustration which can not be recreated in a photo. Luckily, three illustrators, each with their own unique style, are bringing illustration back to the forefront and making it fashionable again.

The Commercial Crossover
Garance Doré for Gap T-shirt, Photo: The Style House Collective

Thanks to her blog and her keen eye for street fashion, Garance Doré has become as highly regarded for her illustrations as for her photographs. Both her photographs and illustrations capture the effortlessly chic style of Paris, and her work has been featured in magazines the world over. Her most notable collaboration to date though, has been with the Gap, which featured a selection of her illustrations on limited edition t-shirts sold in its stores. Garance has achieved success on several different levels, but it is evident from the illustrations that she continues to post on her blog, that fashion is more a passion than a paycheck for her.

The Darling
Illustration by Danny Roberts from his book "Lily Cole & Gemma Ward Sketchbook"

Beloved by fashion-lovers, Danny Roberts has made a name for himself doing portraits of fashion insiders;  mainly bloggers, models and designers. He too, has also had is work featured on apparel, partnering with Gwen Stefani for designs on her Harajuku Girls line. Read more about Danny Roberts in this article on the Sundance Channel's fashion blog. You can also check out his work on his blog Igor + André or buy some of prints in the Danny Roberts etsy store.

See how the talented Danny Roberts creates first-hand in this video of him painting a portrait of Bryan Boy in the front row at a fashion show with Anna Wintour.

The Up-and -Comer
Illustration by Laura Laine

Having her illustrations featured in Elle girl, New York Times T Magazine and British GQ, as well as having done work for H & M and Zara, Laura Laine is building a name for herself as a talented illustrator. At only 24 years old, the Finnish artist already has a distinct style which she describes as "twisted-bodied girls with a melancholy attitude." There is definitely a melancholy air about her lithe figures, but nothing sad about her work, which is visually engaging, expressive and eerily beautiful.

For more about Laura Laine and her work, read her interview with Trendland.

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