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.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sustainable Fashion: The Movement

Greta of Greta Guide has produced this excellent video on the need for and the growing importance of sustainability in the fashion industry. It features interviews with industry insiders who point out that sustainability is no longer a trend or a niche market, but a movement.

One sign of sustainability in mainstream fashion is what David Wolfe of the Doneger Group  referred to as the death of trends in a recent trend forecasting presentation. He points out the variety of skirt lengths and styles of pants and blouses offered by designers every season has made the concept of things being "in" or "out" irrelevant. With this absence of strong trends,  consumers no longer feel the need to buy new wardrobes seasonally. Of course, this has not entirely slowed-down the pace at which apparel is purchased, especially with the enticing low prices of fast-fashion retailers, but the idea of sustainability is gaining more and more acceptance and could be the biggest shift in fashion since the advent of mass garment production.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Is the Man Skirt Officially in for Spring 2010?

H & M featured a number of daring looks in its Spring 2010 Men's Lookbook, including harem pants, but the one that stuck out the most to me was this pleated skirt. You might have been following the man skirt trend on Style Gourmand as I tracked it from its first appearance nearly two years ago on European runways. For awhile, there were a few daring men that appeared in skirts on The Sartorialist, but as quickly as the trend came, it seemed to disappear just as fast.

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Some designers have been trying to keep the trend alive, most notably Marc Jacobs , who has made the black kilt his own personal uniform. Phillip Lim, on the other hand, did not include man skirts in his first menswear presentation, but has not completely ruled out the idea: when asked if they might ever be featured in one of his future collections he replied,"Never say never." Price may be the limiting factor for those interested in designer man skirts like the one featured on Gilte Group from  Thom Browne for $1,288, but when H & M's mens skirt hits stores in a few weeks we will see whether it has been price or disinterest that has kept everyday fashionistos from showing a little leg.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

What Does It Mean to Be a Fashion Blogger?

 In this wonderful video by Mary Scherpe of Stil in Berlin, Suzy Menkes, Fashion Director at the International Herald Tribune, discusses the influence of blogs and how it relates to traditional fashion media. Yvan Rodic of Facehunter, Jennine Tamm of The Coveted and Jessica Weiss and Julia Knolle of Les Mads also discuss what it's like to be leading fashion bloggers.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Prada Fall 2010 Menswear

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Smallest Stylemakers

Two street fashion blogs, Milk Magazine's blog and Planet Awesome Kid focus on what the coolest of tykes are wearing now. These little people may be small in stature, but they are most certainly big on style, and although they might owe their chic looks more to their parents' good taste than their own, you have to give them credit for making children's clothing look hip and modern.

Photo: Karen Jones


Collection of children's clothing from independent designers made by environmentally and ethically responsible manufacturers.

Better know for its carefully edited selection of fashion-forward clothing for adults, Barneys' website also has has a nice offering of kids' clothing and toys.

Anna Ka Bazaar
Great collection of kids' knitwear and a section for moms too.

3.1 Phillip Lim
The perfect balance between sweet and modern, these little girl separates are chic and comfortable.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bloggers Day of Action for Haiti

Today is the Bloggers Day of Action for Haiti which is a wonderful project organized by AphroChic to have fashion, art and design bloggers post about Haiti and raise money for the cause. Participating bloggers are each trying to help the people of Haiti by posting information on how to donate to relief organizations. Please look at the photographs I posted earlier today by The Young Hatian Documentary Photographers Group if you're interested in learning more about Haiti.

If you would like to help :

     Red Cross    

Doctors Without Borders

Participating bloggers:


The Young Hatian Documentary
Photographers Group

I was researching artists in Haiti when I came across these stunning images shot by students participating in The Young Haitian Documentary Photographers Group in 2006. All of these students have no formal training and had never used a camera prior to this porject. Despite their inexperience, they have managed to capture a portrait of the people and place that they live. I thought that better than any words that I could write, these photographs show the beauty of Haiti and put faces to this terrible tragedy.

Please donate:         Red Cross     Yele      Doctors Without Borders     


Stylish Ways to Support Haiti

10% of the final sale price will be donated to the Red Cross

Through eBay Giving Works, bid on products from 
sellers that will contribute a percentage of the final 
sale price to Haitian relief efforts, sell your own items
 and choose to donate up to 100% of the profit to a  charity
 of your choice or make a charitable donation through Paypal.

In addition to giving a pair of shoes to a child in need for every 
pair sold, Toms Shoes will also donate $5 for each item purchased 
from now until January 16 to support disaster relief in Haiti.

Fashionable Earth is selling limited edition t-shirts 
made from recycled clothing. All proceeds from
  Revolution t-shirts will be donated to UNICEF.

Earrings by Voleur de Bijoux 
(donating 25% of all sales in January to UNICEF) 

A group of sellers on Etsy are contributing 
a portion of their sales for the month of 
January to the Hatian relief effort.
   Here is a full list of participating Etsy sellers.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Begin with Inspiration

inspiration from jianchi chen on Vimeo.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Looking Forward, Looking Back

The beginning of a every new year is marked by celebration because it's a chance to look forward to the all the possibilities of the next year and examine what happened in the one past. This idea of looking to the future while not forgetting the past is central in fashion, with seasonal collections often inspired by trends and designers of days gone by. Thoughts of the relationship between past, present, future and fashion were inspired by this Vogue photograph circa 1951 which made me realize that there is no future fashion that will not have its roots in the past. I found this beautiful image thanks to Ms. Spinach, who recently shared a link to myvintagevogue's photostream on flickr which features hundreds of lovely images from past issues of Vogue magazine. Maybe one of these images will provide you with some inspiration for the new year.