And Our Womenswear A/W 23 Illustrators Are...

by Christina Donoghue on 3 February 2023

In typical SHOWstudio style, we've scoured far and wide to find the most talented illustrators to interpret our latest fashion coverage for the looming A/W 23 womenswear shows. Get to know them here.

In typical SHOWstudio style, we've scoured far and wide to find the most talented illustrators to interpret our latest fashion coverage for the looming A/W 23 womenswear shows. Get to know them here.

Before fashion film, there was fashion photography; before fashion photography, there was fashion illustration. Dazzling the pages of many of fashion's most revered publications, wondrous illustrations adorned the covers (and continued to decorate the inside pages) of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Flair, Tatler and many more throughout the first half of the 20th century, proving quite an asset to the quintessential style bible. Having always believed in the power of illustration, primarily when used to communicate a mood or palpable presence, SHOWstudio have long been inviting fashion's most talented illustrators, on and under the radar, to offer their unique talent in interpreting the latest season's collections.

Illustrator and SHOWstudio friend Jessica Bird has been called upon to elevate our New York A/W 23 womenswear collection coverage with her contemporary illustrations. Equipped with a style that collects and vividly spits out colour here, there and everywhere, Bird's illustration language injects a needed dose of fun and glamour into the everyday. As colour is haphazardly thrown together, patches of negative white space blur her messy mark-making leaving her work to take on a mind of its own as chaos melds into unrefined beauty. On her involvement with depicting collections from the Big Apple this season, Bird expressed the following:

'I spent some time in New York at the end of last year around fashion week, and I was so inspired by the city, its people and their relationship with fashion. I'm thrilled to be covering the shows for SHOWstudio and very much looking forward to seeing the creativity that comes out of NYFW, particularly from designers like Rodarte and Thom Browne. The last time I illustrated for SHOWstudio was when I covered LFW in 2018. I was starting out my career then, and so my work has developed quite a lot since. I'm beyond excited to engage and respond to this new opportunity.'

Fashion East S/S 19 womenswear fashion illustration by Jessica Bird

Next up, we have the wonderful Tom Hemingway, who will go above and beyond to illustrate the best from London Fashion Week's offerings this season, all while sitting in SHOWstudio's very own Belgravia-based studio. Going by the pseudonym boyofbaroque on Instagram, it's worth noting this description couldn't be more apt when it comes to outlining Hemingway's work. From black and white etchings to immersive colourful graphite works that replicate detailed paintings in style and tone, Hemingway is, least to say, a baroque delight. The womenswear shows are open to interpretation and London is Tom's stomping ground, after all. It's only a matter of time before he takes the reigns...

'It is an honour to reimagine LFW A/W 23 through my illustrations for SHOWstudio this season. I attempt to document the subjects in my work with heightened intensity, often drawing with high tonal contrasts and saturated colourways to depict my narratives. Therefore, I hope that this season's designers are as fearless in their choices as I aim to be in mine.'

Next up is Iranian native Shokoufeh Attari, who will work tirelessly to depict the Milan womenswear shows, and this is where it gets really interesting. Are the works AI generated? Are they paintings? Drawings? Stencils? Photography? The fun here is in the mystery. There is a quality to Attari's work that is clearly driven by fantasy, evident in both her subjects' poses and the way vivid colour shines in her work. The news may be particularly depressing at the moment, but it's not all gloom when Attari's illustrations exist in the same sphere. On her involvement this season, the artist stated:

'In my opinion, fashion illustration and any visual arts related to fashion have independent narratives that are inspired by clothes. This is, at least, what I have always taken from SHOWstudio in-house projects, which I have followed with enthusiasm. It is really valuable for me to cooperate with SHOWstudio this season to create work as their resident Milan fashion week illustrator, hopefully contributing a new chapter for them.'

And last but not least, artist Kaoru Takano is set to take on Paris. Think Marlene Dumas in style paired with details that mirror Edvard Munch in expression, but unlike either of these two artists, you can always count on Takano to incorporate block colour to create a stark background (providing what only could be summed up as a disturbing undertone) in which these figures elegantly sit. Now imagine the elegance of René Gruau reduced to a cartoonish blob, where Dumas' signature blur makes you want to rub your eyes and look again and again and again. Not possible, you say? Lo and behold, Takano's magic is capable of anything. Abstract in all he does, we will leave you with a sort of poetic comment from Takano on his excitement to be involved with SHOWstudio this fashion season.

'I want to forget.

I wonder if one day I will forget.

And yet, forget I will not.

I don't want to pretend it didn't happen.

My work is personal.

Trauma, memory and feminism combine as one perspective

In fashion, I think the same way.

To expand my imagination and intellect.'

Christina Donoghue



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