Before fashion film, there was fashion photography, and 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.
Committed to rallying the best illustrators from around the world, this season we've invited the following artists to elevate our coverage with their illustrative works.
Leo Qian will be illustrating New York Fashion Week. Presenting the perfect mesh of colour, Qian's mark-making varies between thick and bold lines to the more wispy and flimsy. This delicate transition that sees him use both fat and dainty tips in unison helps him to depict models as they cascade down the runway. Often incorporating the negative space in his illustrations, Qian's distinct style is upended by a colour palette in constant flux, delighting in clashing mustards, emerald greens, fuchsias and crimsons. Commenting on his involvement in helping SHOWstudio depict the S/S 23 womenswear season, Qian stated:
'I am thrilled to be illustrating New York Fashion Week as part of SHOWstudio's coverage this season! As I am based in New York myself, I look forward to interacting with the shows through illustration. I hope to capture the incredible energy of the city in response to this season's fashion. I think that the craft of fashion illustration is irreplaceable in fashion communication as a tangible and intuitive form of visual response.'
Megan Gabrielle Harris will be illustrating London Fashion Week. Her work, often rooted in surrealism and heavily influenced by the paintings of her father, Thomas Harris, plays on natural forms and landscapes, which see the artist continually creating dreamlike compositions of people in their natural environment. Royal blue hues shift into rich violets thanks to her soft and mellow brushstrokes. Speaking of her excitement in participating in SHOWstudio's coverage, Harris said in a statement:
'I am thrilled to be an illustrator this season as it gives me the opportunity to merge both of my worlds - art and fashion. With my illustrations, I hope to capture the delicate balance between strength and softness while also highlighting the imaginative and transformative qualities in each garment, juxtaposed with the human form.'
Lastly, we have Arnaud Pfeffer, who will be illustrating Milan Fashion Week. Slightly different from the rest, his process is what sets him apart. Inspired by the 'Maker Movement' - a cultural trend that places value on an individual's ability to be a creator of things, as well as a consumer - Pfeffer draws links between craft and industrial processes, all while working with 3D design software. As for his fashion illustrations? They will be a complete surprise that we're sure will not disappoint. Pfeffer commented, 'I am very excited to illustrate Milan fashion week! It's a great challenge to connect the dots between the performance of the shows and the performance of drawing machines.'