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Fashion Illustration by Fashion Designers Hardcover – March 5, 2008
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About the Author
Laird Borrelli is senior fashion editor at Style.com. A fashion historian, curator, and writer, she is the author of Fashion Illustration Next. She lives in New York.
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I was hoping to buy a book I could pour over, and really sink my teeth into each drawing, but most of the drawings are minimalist, generically styled, or dated looking. I also assumed, even if the actual drawing didn't inspire, that the book would provide a really inside, intimate look into the creative process with handwritten notes or detailed description, but alas, it does not. The book covers a huge range of designers offering a few illustrations from each along side a very brief half-paragraph about who they are (often information you could find in wikipedia). It seems more quantity over quality.
To be fair though:
there are some really original drawings by Hanuk kim, Costello Tagliapietra, antonio ciutto, aitor throup, ricardo tisci, lovisa burfitt, and over course the cover artist Alena Akhumadullina.
The book is large and comes in a very sturdy hardback cover, making it an ideal coffee table book.
There are contemporary 'it' designers like Rodarte, Badgley Mischka, etc along side legends like YSL, Lagerfeld, betsey johnson, etc.
This is not a How-to-draw-fashion book (and thank god!) for there are far too many of those HACK-books: dreadfully boring, mediocre, unstylish and uninspiring books that never seems to be in touch with ANY kind fashion. This is the kind of book that really inspires a fashion professional or student.
The cover seems a very odd choice considering all the knock-out art inside. Alot of people have mentioned they would never be attracted to open the book based on the cover.
The introduction, illustration notes, quotes and illustrations clearly demonstrate diversity in design methodologies across a variety of garment categories and emphasize the 'personal' aproach taken by individuals in initiating the design process.
From an instructional point of view, I would like to have seen more 'developmental' drawings (if they exist)from the designers who indicate the initial concept illustration diverges from the resolved garment design and possibly a comparison with illustrations created for promotional purposes.
Evidence of designers 'hand-writing' in the form of concept drawings is difficult to locate and Borelli's effort to document such examples is commendable.