illustrating

Studying fashion design is certainly not all designing. In fact, it goes more like this: part designing, part patternmaking, part sewing, and part communicating your designs and ideas. And with communicating comes drawing.


In my fashion illustration class, we worked a lot on drawing “the fashion figure”. The fashion figure is at least a nine-head figure, and is often supposed to convey more of a mood about the clothes, rather than construction-related details. That’s what the flat sketches are for. Throughout the course, I found myself drawn to “messier” styles of illustrations – blocks of colors that didn’t stay inside the lines, visible pencilmarks from the initial sketching, with a few quick, assertive lines. Like the marks of someone who knows what they are doing (which might not be quite where I’m at, but I do like the style!).

Make it big. Click.

I guess it doesn’t come as a terrible surprise that I actually like doing flat sketches. Flats are often made as a supplement to fashion illustrations, and are intended to show construction aspects of the garments, such as topstitching, binding, seamlines, buttons, vents, and all the details the patternmakers and seamstresses would need to know to put the garment together. Something about the clear, crisp lines, the symmetry, and the detailed technical-ness of flat sketches appeals to me. Though, not if they have to be done in a hurry. These are best done slowly, with a fine-tipped pen, in good lighting, with your nose close to the paper!

This is from a recent design project, involving a deconstructed men’s suit, and using that as a starting point for coming up with designs. I really enjoyed this project, ending up with lots of little ladies with heavy bangs. The bangs are becoming a bit of a signature, so I’m sure they will show up here again!

4 responses to “illustrating

  1. I have such a love/hate relationship with fashion illustration! I have a distinct style for my quick sketches, but my ‘proper’ drawings always seem to go horribly wrong and I invariably end up doing them the night before assessment (bad, bad habit, must stop doing that!). I like your deconstructed suit pieces, gorgeous!

    • Ms. HarbourMaster – thanks! It was a bit of an eye-opening exercise, to design from something very tangible, as opposed to pulling ideas out of your head. And I agree; I always like my sketches a ton more than my finished ilustrations! It’s kind of scary to make the proper drawings, and they’re usually not as alive and interesting as the sketches were. The deconstructed suit drawings are actually my first sketches, and it was fun to be “allowed” to use those as our illustrations.

      Elise – thank you!

  2. Love this post. Looking forward to learning more!

  3. very nice illustrations! It would be nice to see few more!

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