Friday, 24 August 2012

New Exhibition: Dalston Superstore 'Walking The Lines'

To coincide with London Fashion Week, Dalston Superstore and Decoy proudly present an exhibition celebrating fashion illustration. Dalston Superstore has taken the knowledge and understanding of the ever-increasing subject to produce a beautiful and simplistic exhibition. Home to some of the most prolific fashion illustrators in the world, London is one of the biggest breeding grounds for new talent to emerge.

As a medium, fashion illustration has diversified from its advertising and haute couture lookbook origins. The term ‘fashion illustration’ itself no longer simply means to just illustrate clothing. Whilst the ability of illustrating garments is still an art form in its own right, fashion has become the available context of the work.

This expansion of context has allowed illustrators of recent years to experiment with new styles and ways of interpreting clothing and brand images. Further marrying artistry with fashion imagery.

Featured illustrators include:

Multi-faceted talent and fully fledged designer at London Fashion Week, Alex Noble originally worked as an illustrator, creating series of works, collages and murals for the likes of Dalston Superstore, Batty Bass and Wound Magazine. The visual language of bold colours, art nouveau reference, characteristically long limbs and use of masking tape led to installations for MTV and Glastonbury. Noble has produced fashion pieces featured in many world wide publications His spectacular outfits for the likes of Lady GaGa and Florence Welch have opened up the worlds eyes to his creativity. His label continues to flourish with each collection.

Along side Noble’s renowned style and grace, Richard Kilroy will be showcasing his own illustrations. Richard’s style of combining photorealism with loose line work has earned him clients that include Dior, Vman, Commons&Sense, Topshop and more. Focusing on menswear, his inspiration comes from the notions of suggestion and reductivism, and the importance of line. 

A fashion illustrator whose style is completely unique is Tara Dougans, Tara Dougans' style is easily identified by her strangely stoic characters, obsessively rendered details and tendency to depict powerful looks. With a heavy emphasis on concept and play, commissions include collaborations with Iris van Herpen, the Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp, Telegraph Fashion, Amsterdam Fashion Week and exclusive work for Also working as an art director, her most recent projects explore the intersection of handcraft and technology – animation, film and digital editorial.

Also exhibiting, Ex-Central Saint Martin's student and SHOWstudio favourite Stephen Doherty works primarily in graphic media, creating portraits with a contemporary edge. His organic textures and lines lend to a unique and identifiable figurative style. After leaving his three year post as assistant designer to Craig Lawrence, Stephen is currently working on his own collection.

Illustrator Jason Lear is a relative newcomer to the field. Having already worked with Peter Pilotto and Disorder magazine, his work reflects the aspects of illustrators throughout the 20th century, taking inspiration from the likes of Kenneth Paul Block, Gruau and David Downton: Descriptions of details are through energetic brush strokes and spare use of line, most definitely one to watch. These Illustrators are just five of nine artists whose work will be displayed through out the 6 weeks that Dalston Superstore becomes home to Walking The Line.

For more information:

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Illustrator Flashback: Julie Verhoeven

Continuing the theme of flashback posts, just a small post for today. I remembered having recently seen these by Verhoeven, design drawnings back in 1994 for John Galliano, who she was then assisting. You can see straight away in the loose shapes, the description of the fabric and twisted body proportions Julie's markmaking ability that would later come to define her work.The faces here however were more attuned to a regular way of approaching drawing facial features, in terms of their proportions etc. So it's really cool to see her line work for bodies and figures eventually made it's way to her faces too.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Illustrator Flashback: Jason Brooks

Jason's style is as infamous as it is recognizable. Widely copied, it arguably became one of the most identifiable illustrative styles around the millennium era. His work for Hed Kandi dominated mainstream illustration, and had such huge influence during the peak of Ibiza's popularity, that Hed Kandi continued to commission illustrators to replicate his long limbed, glossy lipped, narrow eyes beauties years after he left.

As his style continues to evolve (F.I.G and his website currently display his more recent hand based / less digital works), it's great to discover this in one of my old copies of The Face, dated way back from January 1993. Completely hand drawn without a digital alteration in touch, you'd be forgiven for not thinking these were by Brooks. The 'Bovril Babe' being the only giveaway to his future work. It's always exciting as an illustrator myself to see just how much an illustrator's style has changed over the years and seeing the development there. More flashback posts will happen for sure when I can. Have fun reading the quotes (click to enlarge)

Saturday, 18 August 2012

New Exhibition, NY: 'Fashion Illustration: A Contemporary Look'

Fashion Illustration: A Contemporary Look
September 6 – December 1, 2012
Brooklyn Public Library  |  Central and Brooklyn Heights

To coincide with New York Fashion Week SS13, Fashion Illustration: A Contemporary Look will be the largest American showcase of established fashion illustrators in over a decade.

The exhibition aims to bring awareness to the art form, its history, and to showcase its practical applications. On display will be work commissioned and intended for editorial and marketing purposes.  Viewers will have a rare behind the scenes look at the inspiration and creative process that goes into big budget advertising campaigns.

Also neatly coinciding with the release of Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex and Disco, never-before-seen images from Lopez will also be on display, including (unreleased) photos and videos taken by Antonio of friends, models, and colleagues Jerry Hall, Grace Coddington, Pat Cleveland, Grace Jones, and Karl Lagerfeld.

It's a shame that living in the UK, I'm not going to be able to make it there myself, and urge anyone in the U.S with an interest in fashion illustration to go see this. Viewing the original works of others is important to an illustrator. Not only does it give you a better insight into the illustrator's methods and techniques, but it's also interesting to see what original pieces look like before going through any retouching. When viewing the work of Rene Gruau for example, it's fun to spot where corrections have been made and what has been altered or tidied when used for reproduction. Something fascinating but also reassuring to illustrators like myself.

Featured artists:
Richard Haines
Autumn Whitehurst
Sarah Singh
Anja Kroencke
Carlos Aponte
Samantha Hahn
Marcos Chin
Jennifer Lilya
Elaine Pedler
Izak Zenou
Don Oehl

This select group of established illustrators have been featured in major publications including Vogue, Elle, InStyle, WWD and Daily Candy for brands and retailers such as, Chanel, Givenchy, Tiffany, Ray Ban, L’Oreal, Victoria’s Secret, Sephora, and Henri Bendel. A great line up that spans illustrative styles significantly. Autumn Whitehurst's digital renderings for examples are in sharp contrast to the energetic sketches of Richard Haines. Examples are included below.

Don Oehl

Autumn Whitehurst

Richard Haines

Sarah Singh

Jennifer Lilya

Special Events include:
       Panel Discussions
       Fashion Film Series
       FREE Fashion Illustration Classes
       Live Demo with Fashion Illustrator Bil Donovan
       Author Events:

Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex, & Disco by Roger Padilha & Mauricio Padilha

The Opening Reception is at the Brooklyn Public Library, Central Branch on September 6th, 2012 at 6 p.m.  For more info Join their group on Facebook.

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Julie Verhoeven, an update.

It's hard to keep up with the amount of work that Julie has been producing over the last year or so. Her consistent output has seen a major storm of high profile commissions and exhibitions over the last few months, producing yet more incredible work that defines her unique style and approach.

The Princess Diana tribute at Kensington Palace, March 2012.

Part of a huge restoration of Kensington palace, this was arguably the most profilic commission. Julie was requested to interpret famous moments of Diana Princess of Wales' life as a mural wallpaper. Being so quintissentially British in style and personality, Julie was the ideal candidate for such a brief. The illustrations struck the perfect balance between the poetic, almost fairytale imagery of the notion of 'the people's princess', while her active and aggressive brushstrokes and colour kept the whole thing from turning potentially too nostalgic or safe, a path that would be incredibly easy to go down. Julie's trademark style gave the commemorative wallpaper a fresh and exciting quality whilst reflecting the poignancy and more saddening aspect of her demise. To be able to do this and still create a faithful representational homage to Diana AND keep the palace happy, is a bit of a feat.

Some readers of the Daily Mail (Fail) however were not so enthusiastic as me, when commenting an article on the commission, which Julie rightfully laughed off herself. One comment which managed to sum up the work perfectly was the following: "Julie Verhoeven's illustrations really capture Diana's vulnerability and elegance. Simply beautiful. It's all very 'fashion', but then so was Diana.... I think she would have loved this"

whilst one not so in favour read:

 "Why oh why do these so called artists try to be edgy..usually failing! The sketches look like something a bunch of 8-10 year olds would do fro a school project! The colouring is also tacky. It might not have looked so bad if the had stuck to the original colours of the clothes and especially the flowers! And can anyone explain why there is a cow in the sketch of the wedding photo? How much more elegant it would have looked if the chosen photos had been reproduced on the wallpaper"

An idiotic comment in my eyes but I think even Julie would appreciate that her style manages to piss some people off.

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