by Niamh White .

Fashion illustration is championed by Christies this week

Piet Paris, Hussein Chayalan S/S 14, 2013

Historically, fashion illustration is a medium that has been continually undervalued and trivialised. Potentially due to its attachment to commercial enterprise and potentially because its subject is fashion, the work of fantastic draughtsmen and women are consistently undervalued in the market. It's an oversight that makes the medium a great collecting opportunity. If you study the work of Rene Gruau, Antonio Lopez or Erte, or more recently Mats Gustafson and Francois Berthoud, it's clear they are examples of important contributions to art history. The situation was discussed at length during a panel discussion hosted by the Fashion Illustration Gallery, Issa London and Christie's South Kensington this week. Featuring Tim Blanks and David Downton, the panel discussed the changing role of fashion illustration and the importance of instilling value in these works as original drawings, rather than constantly reducing them to the confines of printed reproduction.

SHOWstudio has been slowly building a repertoire of the most exciting up and coming fashion illustrators for the past 2 years, and we're encouraging this very interaction with the craft. We ask these artists to cover the collections as they happen, and then share their drawings immediately on SHOWstudio's Tumblr page. Even more excitingly, we are fully dedicated to championing the medium as a collectable art form and have been making the original drawings available through the Shop at affordable prices. From the gestural sketches of emerging talent Fiona Gourlay starting at £50, to the refined silhouette's of Piet Paris at £1,600, we accommodate every budget and encourage the activity of investing in this widely underestimated medium.

With the eye of the art world shifting onto these illustrators, the pieces are a perfect entry  into collecting art and are set to gain attention more and more swiftly. Have a browse through these important works now and keep an eye out for the new round of drawing coming in during A/W 14 collections early next year.