Contemporary Fashion Illustration Exhibition

30 Jun30 Aug 2015

SHOWstudio presents an exhibition of 150 contemporary fashion illustrations by 32 artists. As a key advocate of the discipline, we have gathered a community of the most exciting emerging and established illustrators and commissioned a variety of unique and collectable artworks for our seasonal collections coverage and for special projects.

During each fashion week, SHOWstudio tasks leading artists and illustrators to capture their favourite designs as they appear on the catwalks of each major city. From the gestural swift strokes of Tobie Giddio to the elongated silhouettes of Rei Nadal, each artist's interpretation bestows new meaning onto the most compelling and current fashions. These drawings are immediately shared through SHOWstudio's Tumblr page and the original artworks are made available for purchase through our online platform. As affordable and unique pieces, they offer a perfect entry point into collecting art. The project capitalises on both SHOWstudio's reach in the digital realm whilst simultaneously placing emphasis on instilling value into the original artwork.

To mark the occasion of the Savage Beauty exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum, illustrators were asked to create an artwork that could operate as an ode to an important Alexander McQueen design. Each artist responded to the brief in their own distinct style. Jowy Maasdamme interpreted McQueen's brown pony skin jacket with impala horns in the shoulders from the It's a Jungle Out There A/W 97 collection.The translucent pink and peach skin tones and the horns protruding from her model's head create a palpable feeling of fashion fusing with flesh. Jenifer Corker tackled the look worn by Erin O'Connor in Untitled No. 13 S/S 99, presenting a delicate rendering of this surreal translucent cage dress in equally sheer fabric. Her subject appears as fashion's vitruvian figure with proportions traced out by the seams of her gown. Velwyn Yossy depicted McQueen's expertly executed harlequinade ruffle jacket from the pivotal Horn of Plenty A/W 09 show in an undulating mixed media drawing and Unskilled Worker presented a hybrid figure of half raven and half human from the same collection. Her subject is fully immersed in the McQueen psyche and crafted in layer upon layer of paint. Collectively these works paid tribute to the various facets of McQueen's prolific craft driven and conceptual oeuvre and give a new account of his creations through the eyes of a range of artists.

During a collaboration with Maison Margiela, artists were commissioned to create an original drawing that depicted a personal memory that was prompted by one of the Maison's Replica perfumes. The artworks were exhibited in a bespoke display case reminiscent of the installation of relics in museums. Instead of tracing a history through tangible objects, these drawings represented ethereal traces of moments past. Floral notes inspired Laura Laine to re-imagine her hours gardening in a refined rendering of a collection of ferocious roses in pencil and graphite, while scents of summer rain saw Helen Bullock re-count a moonlit walk her signature bold colour palette.The project explored the ways in which scent has the capability of piercing the surface of the subconscious to retrieve buried memories. Whether they be extraordinary, perplexing, emotional, desolate, joyful, shocking or banal, certain moments can attach themselves to associated aromas, and subsequently be reformed and remade in the process of remembering. In their various renderings of these moments, the artists demonstrate the diverse nature of fashion illustration and how the depiction of garments can meaningfully connect with lived experience.

Installation View

Previous Exhibitions


SHOWcabinet: Maison Martin Margiela

01 February — 01 April 2014
Maison Martin Margiela's SHOWcabinet exhibition was centred around memory. It explored the pivotal role of scent in triggering reminiscence and featured Margiela's 'Replica' range of fragrances.

Drawing From the Archive

19 January — 19 March 2017
This exhibition explores SHOWstudio’s long history of championing and showcasing fashion illustration, exploring how the medium can translate across various different formats and can be produced using a variety of different techniques and technologies.

Practice to Deceive: Smoke & Mirrors in Fashion, Fine Art and Film

14 April — 16 July 2011
The exhibition included major works by Francois and Bernard Baschet, William Claxton, Jenifer Corker, Oleg Dou, Brian Dowling, TR Er-icsson, Fernand Fonssagrives, Dan Graham, Ruth Hogben, Walter Hugo, Stephen Jones, William Klein, and more.
Back to top