Gucci + Christian Dior Runway Sketches

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Fashion sketches start out with black graphite on white paper. By the time I’m finished, there’s color, texture, and a real person staring back at me. It’s kind of trippy.
— -Jonell Melville

     I naturally fluctuate between painting and drawing. For the times when my brain is hyper-focused on studying color, brushstrokes, and abstract forms, I turn to painting. Other times, I find inspiration in fashion: their faces, their poses and the architecture of their clothing and accessories. The combination of colors, textures, stances, and expressions that draws me in (no pun intended) to illustrating moments in fashion. These are my favorite sketches (some complete, others incomplete) that capture the essence of fashion illustration.

This sketch took me three days to complete. It was during Fashion Week, so there was pressure to put up content before the window of interest ended. In the end, many shows came and went, but once I had sketched it out and painted it in, I was happy that I took my time. # patience

This sketch took me three days to complete. It was during Fashion Week, so there was pressure to put up content before the window of interest ended. In the end, many shows came and went, but once I had sketched it out and painted it in, I was happy that I took my time. # patience

     This is a sketch of the Fall/Winter 2016 Gucci runway show and features 3 of the main looks that caught my eye. The awesome things about using runway looks for inspiration are that the garments and color combinations are so elaborate and striking. They provide great practice in illustrating texture. For example, the model on the left wore tweed, plaid, and wool, so I created hatch marks to resemble the texture of the plaid. The weight of her outfit contrasted with the softness of her features, so I made sure to illustrate her eyes and smile a bit softer. The model in the middle wore an ethereal and translucent material with lots of beading. The challenge was conveying the translucency of her garment. The third model wore an outfit that paid homage to 70's glamor. The shearling that lined her coat complemented her wooly, natural hair, so the challenge was capturing the pattern and texture of her clothes with her ethnic features. 

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     This illustration depicts a model from the Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2011 runway show. I loved the stoic stare of the model as she came down the runway in this taupe/dark olive/mud-colored gown which was adorned with silver circular sequins and silk creme flowers. I liked drawing this look because the juxtaposition between the tough structure of the garment and the waify flowers against her serious expression presented me with the jobs of accurately capturing the aforementioned contrasts. The result? A chiseled face, exaggerated cat eyes, angular, broad shoulders, and a structured couture gown that softens the strength of the model's physique.