Like architectural illustrations, fashion illustrations capture ideas, moods, fabrics, patterns, and express construction lines for garments. Illustrations help conceptualize, present, or document design. In our high-tech, low-touch society, where nearly everything is digital, architectural, interior and fashion illustrations that are hand-drawn have a certain charm and represent a skill set that lies at the very core and foundation of design that is still relevant in our daily lives with clients. Sketching is our first language and form of communication as designers, and often it’s the fastest way to show a client an idea.
With New York Fashion Week in full swing, I’m watching Instagram light up with runway looks some of my favorite illustrators have documented from this year’s runway, so I thought I’d share a couple I admire. Here in Atlanta, SCAD Fash Museum of Fashion and Film, recently exhibited the work of Fashion Illustrator Marc-Antoine Coulon. This Paris-based artist’s first retrospective included a small gallery at the museum dedicated to his illustrations and portraits. He captures people, their expressions, facial structure, and deep emotions with such exactness, yet delivers a watercolor softness that balances out the strong black lines and bold colors. He has illustrated for many of the luxury fashion brands and captured some of the world’s most notable figures with his brush. Here are some of my favorites from the exhibit.