Browsing through the internet I came across this vintage magazine cover with pencil sketches dated back in the 1850s. In this era of digital fashion photography seeing a leading fashion magazine cover with hand-drawn pencil sketches is absolutely engrossing. So here I would like you to take a ride along with me exploring this beautiful journey as to how the fashion industry has evolved right from black and white pencil sketches to picture-perfect digital photography.
Fashion Illustration is the art of conversing fashion ideas in a visual form that originated with sketching, drawing, and painting. For someone else to get the idea or design of the fashion designer word-by-word can be cumbersome, but by illustrating them with a sketch-by-sketch analysis makes the contemplation better. It looks more appealing and portrays the professionalism of the designer. Thus fashion illustration plays a huge role in conveying the new trend in the clothing market. For the illustration, to speak in words it has to be precise from each and every angle, looking real and attractive including the body shape, facial expression, character poses, natural movements, placement of clothes, hair, etc. Hence it requires expert hands for the illustration to take its best form and look sharper.
Ever since the fashion industry started, it has been constantly changing. So fashion illustration played a huge role in explaining the new evolving fashion designs of garments and also serves as the best mode in educating the budding fashion designers. Apart from these, there were many leading fashion magazines which used illustration to explain their concepts and make their content more engaging. Just like any other art piece fashion illustration too, required lots of patience and the presence of the hands of the artist. Though they were visually pleasing, they were laborious and expensive too. So with the invention of Fashion Photography, Fashion Illustration from being the prime fashion communication mode now started narrowing down. Though the earliest known fashion photographs dated back in the 1850s, it gained huge momentum in the 1960s and thereafter. Therefore, Fashion Photography took the front foot, delivering more fluid, realistic and spontaneous shots in comparison to sketches and illustrations.
So seeing the scenario a couple of decades back, photography definitely reigned supreme. But in the present day, it’s gradually changing, as the designers or magazine editors, for instance, are looking out for something to draw the attention of their audiences. Hence, EthnoVogue too is joining the on-set of revamping this retro-idea of Fashion Illustration. Apart from being a feast to sore eyes, Illustration has its fair share of economic and social advantages too. The illustration is the start of the garment designing process and so it can be filtered until the designer’s vision is clearly projected. So this way it reduces the cost of the garment making and following this old school route we also minimize the wastage of resources and man-power. So this way Fashion Illustration is unique in its perspective and gives the designers the freedom of creativity and helps to sustain in the market. So the day, in the not-too-distant future we can expect this now a retro-idea to become the norm again in this turning-to-sustainable fashion industry.