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February 16, 2012 / KristenMakes

Back to the drawing board

Literally, not figuratively.  Well, I guess figuratively too?

Well it is Fashion Week in NYC and my eyes have been glued to the blogs of  The Sartorialist, Man Repeller and Style Bubble to see the shows.  It’s always exciting, even if you don’t like the fashions, I love the new ideas and fresh silhouettes!  This week made me think about the illustrations I was doing last year for my MA portfolio, and I fancied giving it a go again…  So I got out my watercolours, pens and markers and tried to recreate a few looks:

The first look was from Michael Kors.  I really liked the drape of the skirt, but capturing it and the fringe as a first go proved beyond me.  I’m not very happy with the result, but it was a good warm up for the fingers.

photograph via / illustration (c) Kristen Orme

Next up I went for an old favourite, and quite a show he put on:  Marc Jacobs.  While you might say the hats and the shoes are a bit much, I think they create a whimsical story..  I’ve seen everything from Marie Antoinette to the Pilgrims to the Mad Hatter referenced in people’s reviews of this collection so you’ve got to admit, he does have people talking!  For my illustration, I found the jacquard pattern difficult but perhaps with a gold pen and practise I could crack it.  Of course I love that boxy wrap!  I may have to knit me one.

photograph via / illustration (c) Kristen Orme

Last up was 3.1 Phillip Lim, and my favourite of my illustrations.  I really love the voluminous folds in the herringbone coat, plus the double-ended zip create a really nice design detail.  I tried to capture the wooly fabric without overdoing it on the detail, just the essence really.

photograph via / illustration (c) Kristen Orme

The trick that I am still (and perhaps will always be) struggling with is capturing the details without dragging the illustration down with too many strokes and bits.  I’m aiming for mood, not exact representation.

Illustrating from other peoples’ designs is a really good lesson at looking and recreating.  Having practised like this comes in handy when you want to illustrate the designs you see in your head because your fingers are more accustomed to the proper strokes and you are more familiar with how mimic texture and mood.  I hope to keep up the practise, it’s really fun!



Leave a Comment
  1. VickiKateMakes / Feb 16 2012 7:24 am

    Wow! I wouldn’t know where to even start with something like this, I think your last one really captures the texture of the coat! You could do some stunning croquis’ using your talent and I’d love to see any illustrations you do of your own design ideas 🙂

  2. Scruffybadger / Feb 16 2012 9:34 am

    Oh my- you are so clever – I LOVE the styling of your drawings & the washes of colour. Keep at it, you’ve got something there!

  3. Rachel / Feb 16 2012 9:40 am

    These are great! Real fluidity in a 2D (and virtual!) drawing. Good on you.

  4. Noas'Libellule / Feb 16 2012 9:59 am

    I love your illustrations!

  5. prttynpnk / Feb 16 2012 11:10 am

    Lovely work!

  6. Mum / Feb 16 2012 3:55 pm

    So fun! Several of your illustrations still grace the high school sewing classroom! They still look great and they are from way back in your undergrad days….I always love seeing them when I go in to visit Mrs. Gray because they remind me of you!

  7. indigorchid / Feb 16 2012 4:17 pm

    Looks good! It’s funny how fashion illustrations are so ephemeral.. it’s like if you try to hard, they’re just done for. Love your watercolorwork though – I could never get mine to look very effortless!

  8. aviewintomyworld / Feb 16 2012 5:13 pm

    love your illustrations, i’ve always struggled trying to get my ideas on paper, your use of watercolours is very effective…
    and bonus points for me – i have a skirt hanging awaiting hemming with a similar drape to the michael kors one above 🙂

  9. Lizz @ A Good Wardrobe / Feb 17 2012 3:03 pm

    So lovely!

  10. Sophia / Feb 27 2012 8:43 am

    Hi Kristen,

    I just stumbled upon your blog from a link to your Minoru and am really enjoying what you have here. This post was really exciting to me as I’m thinking of going back to school this fall for a Fashion Design Certificate. I’m hoping to better hone my sewing skills and learn pattern making to allow for more design elements in the clothes I sew. This post was really inspiring!

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