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Fashion illustration


Fashion Illustration is the art of communicating fashion ideas in a visual form that originates with illustration, drawing and painting and also known as Fashion sketching. It is used mainly by fashion designers to brainstorm their ideas into paper or computer, using digital softwares like adobe photoshop and illustrator, which helps them to communicate easily with their team. and fashion sketching plays a major role in designing to preview and visualize designer thoughts and make decisions before going to actual clothing to reduce any wastage. Apart from fashion designers, fashion illustrators get commissioned for reproduction in fashion magazines as one part of an editorial feature or for the purpose of advertising and promoting fashion makers, fashion boutiques and department stores.

Fashion illustration has been around for nearly 500 years. Ever since clothes have been in existence, and there has been a need to translate an idea or image into a fashion illustration. Not only do fashion illustrations show a representation or design of a garment but they also serve as a form of art. Fashion illustration shows the presence of hand and is said to be a visual luxury. (Drake, 9).

More recently, there has been a decline of fashion illustration in the late 1930s when Vogue began to replace its celebrated illustrated covers with photographic images. This was a major turning point in the fashion industry. Laird Borrelli, author of Fashion Illustration Now states,

Fashion Illustration has gone from being one of the sole means of fashion communication to having a very minor role. The first photographic cover of Vogue was a watershed in the history of fashion illustration and a watershed mark of its decline. Photographs, no matter how altered or retouched, will always have some association with reality and by association truth. I like to think of them [fashion Illustrations] as prose poems and having more fictional narratives. They are more obviously filtered through an individual vision than photos. Illustration lives on, but in the position of a poor relative to the fashion.

A designer starts with an inspiration and brainstorm ideas to rough sketches on sketchbook.These rough sketches are then transferred to croquis and rendered to a fashion sketch applying the texture, color, pattern and details with the help of art materials.



  • " Le Premier siècle de René Gruau " by Sylvie Nissen & Vincent Leret. Published by Thalia Edition Paris. 2009.
  • An Illustrated History of Fashion: 500 Years of Fashion Illustration, by Alice Mackrell. Published by Costume & Fashion Press, 1997. .
  • Fashion Illustration Next, by Laird Borrelli. Published by Chronicle Books, 2004. .
  • New Fashion Illustration, by Martin Dawber. Published by Batsford, 2005. .
  • Fashion Illustrator, by Bethan Morris. Published by Laurence King Publishing, 2006. .
  • 100 Years of Fashion Illustration,, by Cally Blackman. Published by Laurence King Publishing, 2007. .
  • Essential Fashion Illustration: Details. , by Maite Lafuente. Published by Rockport Publishers, 2007. .
  • Borrelli, Laird. (2000). "Fashion Illustration Now," Thames & Hudson Ltd., London. (p 6-175).
  • Drake, Nicolas. (1994). "Fashion Illustration Today (Revised Edition)," Thames & Hudson Ltd., London. (p 7).
  • kesav articles (2012) fashion illustration today.. new edition,
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