(Roberto Cavalli)Milan Men's Fashion Week is approaching and in anticipation Women's Wear Daily has published a bunch of designer illustrations, including the chic Roberto Cavalli sketch shown above, set to appear on the runways straight from the designer's drafting tables. Yes, I'm featuring male illustrations ladies and gents, you read that correctly! Over the past four years of Fabulous Doodles I written countless posts on designer illustrations from womenswear fashion weeks but this is the very first menswear feature.
(Les Hommes and Diesel Black Gold)There are many reasons for this. First, men are extremely difficult to illustrate. Secondly, I was a womenswear fashion design major and spent years of college and subsequent years since, strictly drawing women. Last but not least I never had to challenge myself with illustrating men until my recent foray into live-illustrating at events where I can't exactly turn people away just for being male.
(Z Zegna and Ermanno Scervino)Men are challenging to draw, every illustrator and designer I know personally admits to that. The line of a man is very straight and angular and its hard to make them statuesque, slim and fit without appearing girly. And if you draw them too big and brute then they come off sort of dumpy instead of masculine. You also have to be precise when drawing tailored pieces (as shown in the Brioni below) and its quite difficult to draw masculine facial features. Put too much pressure on the pencil while rendering the eyes for instance, and suddenly your man can look like he's wearing mascara.
For me learning to draw men is a work in progress, for years I used to actually turn down projects that requested a male illustration, but over the past year and having to live-illustrate men more and more I've learned and consequently improved. Studying these designer sketches from the men's collections, and how these designers render the male proportions and male features can only help my illustrating and hopefully yours as well.
These designer menswear sketches are from Women's Wear Daily, and if you click on over you can check out even more illustrations and inspiration from the spring 2014 Milan collections.