Having always been a fan of both art and fashion, fashion illustration has always been an area that I have loved to learn about and draw inspiration from. Here are my picks of my favourite fashion illustrators:
Rene Gruau’s career first began during the 1930s, in which he began to sketch fashion illustrations for Parisian magazines and newspapers, even working with magazines such as Marie Claire. After moving to America in 1948 he began to contribute to Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, his work almost emanating the aesthetic of Toulouse-Lautrec with his use of fluid, gestural line work. Some of his most notable work was done for Dior, illustrating both fashion and cosmetics. I really loved his style when I first saw his work, and the illustrations really just epitomise the glamour and allure of the 1940s and 50s.
I first encountered Donald Robertson’s work during an art project at sixth form, and I instantly found his style inspiring. He makes use of collage and broad, gestural mark-making, and his works could even be seen to harken back to pop art with the use of bright colours and repeat prints. Nominated as Instagrammer of the Year, social media is integral to his popularity, but he has also collaborated with MAC Cosmetics and Esteee Lauder, as well as launching American Marie Claire. He has depicted everyone from Anna Wintour to Beyoncé to Karl Lagerfeld, and has earned himself more than 180,000 followers.
My interest in Barbara Hulanicki first stemmed from our lecture on the 1970s at university, where we were introduced to the now iconic boutique Biba. I fell in love with the entire look of the stores, but her illustrations were just as inspiring. She is considered a British fashion icon for what she has accomplished in the industry, but began working as a freelance fashion illustrator for many recognisable publications (Vogue and the Sunday Times to name a couple) prior to her rise to fame. Her works certainly reminded me of art nouveau, but even so long after the widespread popularity of Biba they still resonate as chic and fashionable.
So, those were three fashion illustrators that I find inspiring, thank you for reading!