The future of fashion illustration in the 21st Century

The future of fashion illustration in the 21st Century

Fashion Illustration is a statement of fashion that is created with the help of drawing, illustration and painting.  These illustrations are often used in making prototypes, clothes on the production line, editorial features, department stores, advertisements or fashion magazines.

Fashion Illustration in Modern Times

In the modern days, fashion illustration has played a significant part in history and culture, it has evolved over the centuries.  Fashion designing and fashion communication has come a long way since the advent of fashion illustrations. Fashion illustration is often misunderstood and not given due credit.  Many of the detractors are of the impression that fashion art and fashion illustration drawings are only incidental and superficial yields of a fleeting culture, or something that is of no consequence or significance.  Some believe that fashion illustration has no relevance to our period of time.  Fashion photography and digital computer images pose a threat to the future of fashion illustration and are its competitors. One should try to analyse and comprehend history to understand fashion illustration and plan for the future.

Origin of Fashion Illustration

Looking back at history, illustrations that define fashion and fashion illustrations have been found even in prehistoric caves, stony walls and rocks.  Fashion illustrations are more primitive than that we find in magazines and fashion designers’ drawings.  Over time, different techniques and methods were used through trial and experience, right from engravings and carvings on stone walls and caves to fashion plates and simple drawings made from paper and pencil. Conventional fashion illustration is challenged constantly with the arrival of cutting-edge technology and fashion photography. In spite of this competition, fashion illustration is slowly widening its dominion and climbing back into popularity.  Fashion illustrations find themselves more often in magazines, catalogues and desks of fashion designers etc.

In 20th Century – Seriousness of Fashion Illustration 

In the 20th century fashion illustrations were not taken seriously, it only acted like a photograph echoing the fashion of the era and showcasing social life.  Fashion illustration only acted as visually depicting the prevalent styles, trends and elegance.  The advent of photography changed everything in the field of fashion illustration. Fashion photography made everything easy and the popularity of fashion illustration began to dwindle.  But thanks to the internet, now there is growing interest in fashion illustrations.  Social network sites like Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter etc. have been sprinkled with fashion illustrations and are looked up by people every day.  Many websites today are full of fashion illustrations that people can browse through and use.

Technology & Fashion Illustration

Fashion illustration always used the latest technology and technology has become a very important tool of fashion illustration.  The use of computer-generated images in fashion illustration has become popular, though there are some apprehensions as to the originality of the art and its artistic value. In spite of all the pros and cons, fashion illustration finally has emerged successfully in using technology and the internet to its own advantage.

The launch of new software has greatly helped fashion illustrators to create newer and innovative designs.  This helped in enhanced quality of illustrations which can be done quickly and accurately. The images can also be edited and improved whenever required without any wastage of time and effort. Technology and fashion illustration have become inseparable, the help of user-friendly technology has greatly helped fashion illustration.  The ever-increasing popularity of fashion illustration may go beyond the confines of technology and reach great heights.

Illustrators Scope in Fashion Illustration

Fashion illustrators are people who make sketches, diagrams, illustrations, and various works of art related to the fashion industry.  They work in variable surroundings, which include fashion designers, design studios or work in software companies that provide fashion illustration.  There is a lot of scope for artists doing fashion illustrations and the project could be varied and challenging.  Talented and professional illustrators with vast experience could really do well in this industry.

The most significant part of the job in fashion illustration is drawing conceptions that are novel.  The fashion designers who wish to start a new clothing line depend mostly on fashion illustration in order to give life to their concepts and designs.  They use the images generated by fashion illustrations in their designs and to market their products much earlier than the prototypes appear.

The making of prototypes and clothes that are in production rely on designs and patterns that are made by fashion illustrators. Various garment manufacturing companies employ fashion illustrators for the creation of sewing patterns. The design and outline of the clothes are illustrated by the fashion illustrator in order to be used by the garment companies. This facilitates the sewer and designers to have an idea of what the garment will look like when it is completed.

How Fashion illustrations have been used in various Sectors

Fashion illustrations are also used in advertisements, product promotions and other marketing strategies.  The illustrations, diagrams, drawings and sketches made by fashion illustrators are used by the corporate sector to market their products effectively. The production costs to hire fashion illustrators are relatively cheaper when compared to manufacturing prototypes and other paraphernalia.  So small companies with limited budgets can easily avail themselves of fashion illustration without the need to invest heavily.

For more Marketing Purpose

The fashion illustration industry should be in the state to foresee developing fashion trends and marketing strategies.  They should assist the fashion designers and give them ideas that may evoke interest from people. Finer aspects like technical abilities and talents are very crucial to fashion illustrations. Technical skills in drawing and painting are also critical for fashion illustrators.  The essence of the given design and accurate dimensions and looks should be displayed in the drawings.  Designs should portray accurate proportions and proper characteristics of colour to get the desired outlook. The fashion illustrator should have good knowledge of image dynamics and finer traits like shape and colour.

Fashion illustration is all about expressing the inner self, bringing out the artist within you and manifesting it to the outside world.  One does not need to be a perfect artist in order to be a fashion illustrator.  Just give vent to the artistic genius in you and let the creative juices flow.

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