Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Fashion Illustrations

When I was supposed to be writing my dissertation, I took many journeys into color.

The day after I passed my qualifying exams I went to the fabric store, returned home with an armful of cottons, and taught myself to piece and quilt by hand.

Then I enrolled in a fashion illustration class, in the same department where the Sartorialist studied, though I don’t believe our paths crossed. (I took my class in fall 1996.)

One of our projects was to assemble a portfolio on a theme and I chose to do an update of the film Sabrina. Julia Ormond’s forgettable remake had come out the previous year, and I felt like redeeming that narrative—giving it the re-vision that it deserved.

So I illustrated Naomi Campbell as Sabrina—waiting at the train station upon her return from Paris, celebrating in Paris by the Eiffel Tower, taking a moonlight stroll near the tennis courts.

I also did Sabrina/Naomi in a ball gown, the photo of which I incorporated into a sample Vogue article I wrote for an interview: a mock-up of that magazine’s “People Are Talking About” pages. I was talking about the bustle.

The images were inspired by a Vanity Fair spread, one I can no longer recall, so I’m unsure how closely I followed the color scheme of the clothes. One memorable moment during my whirlwind of Conde Nast interviews was showing these illustrations to the lovely managing editor at VF, who recognized the Galliano dress from the original shoot.

Drawing (and painting) clothes and the body was a transformative experience: my eye changed out of necessity. I think it might be time to begin looking in this manner again, a decade or so later. I know the wonderfully talented Patricia illustrates; does anyone else?


K.Line said...

I wish I could paint and illustrate/draw and sew and translate things like a UN interpreter (I know that's a bit of a stretch on this theme but I somehow lump them all together). Alas, I suck at trying to draw anything resembling well, the thing I'm trying to draw. Aren't you tremendously talented though. And seriously, I don't know how you have time to put the gym into your day as well as everything else. Is time elastic for you? Do you sleep? K

miss cavendish said...

K.line, thank you for your kind words. As for the gym, it's not a daily occurence, but I know I don't feel like myself unless I exercise. And there have been a good number of not-me weeks, believe me!

enc said...

editor illustrates. I think you did a nice job here, and I really appreciate seeing your work. Thank you for sharing.

riz said...

I'm impressed. I like your Naomi pieces very much. This is also a really interesting personal history. As someone working towards their qualifying exams I would be very interested in hearing what they were like for you...

Anonymous said...

Have really enjoyed your blog. Just starting my own(yikes!) Hopefully someday I could get it out there like you do. Beautiful and intelligent. I've always loved drawing and attempted illustration when I got out of college. It took away the joy though and I'm just now trying to return to the freedom I felt as a little girl when I would draw all afternoon in my own little world. Thanks for asking. (And Patricia is wonderful!)

miss cavendish said...

Welcome Musette! I heart the Audrey photo on your inaugural entry.

bronwyn said...

These are really good indeed! It's a great concept too. I can't draw, I wish I could, that doesn't stop me though. I do collage and visual journals, and I also enjoy doing digital art in photoshop which is a perfect programme for the artistically challenged person:)

pve design said...

miss cavendish-
thank you for sharing your fashion illustrations, they are lovely and have an old world quality. you are very kind indeed to think of me in regards to my illustrations.
illustrators that inspire me are -
ruben toledo
so many great talents!