I hesitated going in, it was already dark, snowing out, and I was wanting to get home to my warm dry apartment, but once I walked in...wow, I was going to be there a while. Especially once the guard told me photo's were allowed! (Photo's are never allowed in the FIT museum across the street, but this was just the lobby of the D building.)
The whole exhibit featured illustrations by one illustrator, Audrey Schilt, a fellow FIT alum. For over thirty years Audrey sketched and designed for some of the most revered names in fashion. Audrey got her start working aside fashion icon Halston. "But Schilt is perhaps best known for her work at Ralph Lauren. Audrey worked with Ralph Lauren side by side for twenty-two years as he built his fashion empire. Schilt helped Lauren interpret and illustrate his creative ideas and eventually became his Creative Director of Collection, VP."
Each wall of the exhibit featured a different collection from her time at Ralph with a little write-up from Audrey on the mood, inspiration, and design evolution of the collections. The illustrations shown here are from the "Aviator" collection. I remember this collection well because the ad campaign for it was close ups of the mood boards, with fabric swatches, old photo's, findings, and designer sketches. (I'm a master at creating mood boards if I do say so myself. In my last nine-to-five I spent hours upon hours creating polished mood boards for designers, editors, and high level execs.)
About a year and half ago I had a meeting at Ralph Lauren Home. One of the highlights of the afternoon was after the meeting I got a personal tour around the offices including the mood board room. The boards measured about four feet wide by 6 feet tall and included every fabric sample from the runway collection. Not just swatches mind you, but full length fabric samples, think curtain samples! They were amazing. I could have stayed in that little room looking over those boards all day. Better yet, I think Ralph Lauren just needs hire me as a mood board rigger! Sorry for the long tangent here. But when it comes to Ralph I have a lot to say, I'm a huge fan of the man, the company, and the flawless lifestyle branding.
But back to Audrey now! I love collecting and studying designer illustrations. Seeing the different techniques, and the poses chosen to best illustrate design details of the garments. Audrey's illustrations have so much personality and spirit, I just love them and I'm sure you do too.