On November 2 in 1867, when the very first issue of the oldest fashion magazine HARPERS BAZAAR was published in the United States, illustrations were the only way to display clothing on paper. The “Fashion Plates” at that time were two-dimensional worlds, clearly showing the respective era, culture and taste of the time. Seasonal trends markedly made their way around the world until the breakthrough of photography at the beginning of the 20th century was exclusive.
Fashion illustrators founded stylistic movements and made art: Giovanni Boldini brought pure elegance to paper, his brush strokes were as skilful as the silhouette of a couturière, and fashion was always in the foreground in his portraits. With his opulently dressed figures, Erté shaped the Art Deco style like no other. René Gruau and his contemporaries helped Christian Dior's “New Look” to success. Nevertheless, with the advancement of fashion photography, the illustration played the second violin more and more, from the 60s it increasingly disappeared from the magazines.
Of course, the fashion illustrators never completely disappeared. In the 1970s Antonio Lopez caused a sensation with his sensual, ultra-glamorous fashion illustrations. Karl Lagerfeld had a lifelong love of fashion illustration. And journalist and illustrator Michael Roberts has been playing the fashion world discreetly with his playful drawings since the 90s. Drawings have their own intrinsic value - they can add a special touch to the work of designers; bring a refreshing dash of humor; or magazine covers to collectibles. Last but not least, sketching is often the first step for designers when it comes to designing a collection.
That is exactly why they are increasingly appreciated today. In January 2020, Italian VOGUE published an edition that was fully illustrated by well-known artists - no trace of photo productions. The climate crisis, required new, more environmentally friendly ideas for the representation of fashion, instead of flying dozens of people and packages around the world for large shootings, editor-in-chief Emanuele Farneti said at the time. Now where humanity is faced with a challenge it hasn’t been faced before – the COVID 19 Fashion illustration again corresponds to the spirit of the times: digitization gave her new opportunities that were previously unthinkable; more and more artists are using them to represent diversity; and above all the current situation, triggered by the corona virus, calls for new ways to present the fashion of the season creatively.
Today, we want to share the most talented illustrators from Russia, who took part in the last weeks marathon, organized by PURPLEHAZE and a Russian illustrator Natalia Nagibina @nagibina.art . The main prize is a participation in the Fashion Illustration exhibition, which will take place in August at the HAZEGALLERY ( BERLIN )
The competition was hard! And the results overwhelming, as it revealed so many talents, so that the editors and Natalia had a big challenge to make a choice! Nevertheless, the decision has been made and the board announced the winners!
Hello, my name is Anastasia Kondratieva, I am an illustrator.
I live and work in Russia. It so happened that my whole life was connected with art, and I received several art professions - a teacher-painter, a graphic artist, a set designer, a storyboard artist, an illustrator. In the last couple of years I' ve been doing fashion-illustrations. It is a new sphere for me and its very exciting. I have already managed to work with several designers from Russia and Ukraine. I drew sketches on Moscow Fashion week and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Russia.
I am very inspired by cinema and fashion, because I graduated from Russian State University of Cinematography as a production designer. I see many connections between cinema and fashion shows, in both of them an atmosphere, an aesthetics and an image are important. In my works I like to experiment with techniques. Now I work with digital illustration, but I like to make it as similar as possible to oil painting, watercolor sketch or collage technique.
Undoubtedly, the Russian academic school influenced my vision of art, therefore a strong drawing and technique are important to me as well as the meaning of my work. As for me, art is the way of knowing the world, it is an instrument to develop. The artist is a versatile person who knows the history of art, classics movies and literature, fashion.
The essence of my work is to enjoy the process, enjoy the aesthetics, add a little imagination and share this with viewers.
Hello, my name is Eugene. I began to draw a long time ago! I have a professional diploma in Art studies, but there was a long break for almost 20 years. About a year ago, I began to draw more actively and exploring my own style! I get inspired by the works of famous and not so artists, designers and photographers. I like to experiment and I like different techniques.
My name is Alena Ulusavas, I'm 37 years old, married, and with my husband we have a one and a half year old son. I am from Poltava (Ukraine), but I live with my family in two cities: Kiev-Istanbul. I have a tailorship education , since school I have dreamed of becoming a designer, and because of this reason I moved to Kiev 15 years ago from Poltava. I began to work as a tailor for one of the famous Ukrainian designers, and after one year I began to draw collections with him. By and by I drew two collections of shoes and curated them.
I have been drawing since childhood, thanks to mom ! As I remember now, I sat in front of the TV with the fashion channel turned on and sketched clothes of the girls walking along the catwalk.
I started to draw professionally fashion illustrations 3 years ago after I completed the course. The course which I have participated was not in order to learn how to draw, but in order to learn about the trend of “fashion illustration”. It was not difficult for me to portray a girl because of my profession and since then I have been doing this. Drawing is my biggest dream