Thursday, May 3, 2012


By Eva Fydrych

Go Figure: New Fashion Illustration
11 May – 14 July 2012

Image: Lesley Barnes, Christopher Raeburn, for Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration

Go Figure: New Fashion Illustration is the second in a series of exhibitions, which showcases the brightest young talent across the field of fashion. The series will showcase makers who, though not yet widely known, are some of the most outstanding of their generation - whose work takes its place among the best of contemporary practice, while also defining future directions, agendas and tastes around fashion creation.

This exhibition brings together more than sixty works by thirteen international fashion illustrators who execute work in a variety of media, from the digital to the hand-drawn via the physical. Most of the illustrators bring influences from other disciplines including fashion design, graphic design, photography and film, which provide an insight into a creative field that is truly multi-faceted.

What binds this group together is the level of attention to detail, craftsmanship and execution, demonstrated through traditional and innovative approaches to materials and process. Work on display has been selected from recent years, both from professional and personal portfolios, to give a sense of each illustrator’s personal creative vision. These works depict menswear and womenswear collections almost equally and provide a glimpse both of London’s creative fashion design talent and more established international names.

Cristian Grossi (Courtesy of the artist)

Featured illustrators:

Richard Kilroy’s exquisite hand-drawn menswear illustrations demonstrate a keen eye for detail as well a sense of minimalism and space. This London-based illustrator has also publishes his own fashion illustration fanzine called Decoy.

Artaksiniya is a Hong Kong-based Russian illustrator, whose unique approach to figure and stance produces arresting results. She also designs textiles and recently set up silk scarf label Square Lust. Through her elaborate use of felt-tips, ball-point pens and three-dimensional layers, she creates a set of distinctive fashionable characters.

Tara Dougans’ painstakingly crafted works have a haunting and deeply personal quality. Her process includes intricately detailed pencil drawings of sartorial minutiae, but also bold paint strokes and digital techniques.

Hanna Mueller is a young Gothenburg-based illustrator who combines ink and aquarelle techniques to create striking portraits that convey a youthfully defiant attitude.

Brussels and Atlanta-based Finnish illustrator Jarno Kettunen's live action drawings are created backstage at high fashion shows. He uses line drawing and colours effortlessly; with only a few strokes and blurs of colour he invokes the clothed human form.

London-based Rosie McGuinness’ croquis-style line drawings intuitively capture the movement of fabric and silhouette. She has been commissioned to produce work for the Black Dog Publishing, International Textiles Magazine and the Victoria and Albert Museum.

Fashion designer and illustrator Zoya Smirnova’s ‘straight-up’ drawings of street-style menswear are a distinctive take on individual style. Zoya also collaborates on a clothing line called ZDDZ, in which her strong graphic sensibilities are featured in casual silhouettes and dynamic prints.

Glasgow-based Lesley Barnes’ illustrations reveal a keen sense of visual movement, pattern and colour, which point to her background in film and animation. Her pieces often depict the work of young designers through a playful mixture of digital collage and pattern.

Lesley Barnes, Antonio Berardi AW201 (Courtesy of the designer)

Cristian Grossi is an Italian graphic designer and illustrator based in Parma who cleverly contrasts organic patterns and bold colour planes. His 'Insecta' series takes it a step further and the illustrated image literally comes alive through the use of animated gifs.

This insinuation of movement through the digital is also demonstrated by Finnish illustrator Laura Laine. Her rigorously detailed and delicate hand-drawn illustrations gain a sense of dynamism through her use of posture and styling.

Ingela Och Vi is the Swedish duo of Elisabeth Månsson, an illustrator and graphic designer, and Peter Turkalj, photographer, based in Malmø, Sweden. Together they create what they call ‘illustration photography’, a mixture of set design, fabric swatches and drawing, which are then photographed as final pieces.

Madrid-based fashion designer and illustrator Eugenia Alejos also uses photography in her work. She playfully refers to her 3D collages as 'organised chaos', combining texture, fabrics and bold brush-strokes to achieve a multi-dimensional effect. Her recent menswear collection, “A dixit”, is a minimalist mosaic of past and the present.

Sabine Pieper is a Berlin-based illustrator and photographer. Her work plays on different textures by combining and digitally manipulating scanned fabrics and original line drawings. Textiles being central to her aesthetic, she has worked extensively with the Dutch textile company Vilsco.

Go Figure has been curated by Ligaya Salazar, Curator of Contemporary Programmes at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and Polona Dolžan, independent curator.

Exhibition series devised by Magdalene Keaney.

Jarno Kettunen, Boudicca (Courtesy of the artist)


The Fashion Space Gallery at London College of Fashion is a contemporary exhibition space in central London presenting a regularly changing programme engaging with global fashion, design, photography and installation. 
Source: Fashion Space Gallery

Date: 11 May – 14 July 2012
Time: Monday–Friday: 10am–6pm
Saturday: 10am–4pm
Location: Fashion Space Gallery, London

Sabine Pieper (Courtesy of the artist)

More events in London: FASHION CALENDAR


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