Its New York Fashion Week again, which to me has always been a time to ogle over designer sketches which they release as a preview of their collection and the inspiration behind it. Aside from being pure visual eye candy for a fashion illustration lover, an aspiring illustrator can learn a lot by studying inspiring sketches and trying to achieve similar techniques.
I've picked only five this season and possibly my favorite of the lot is the Adam Lippes illustration shown above. I've always loved illustrations that look effortless and a bit unfinished. Knowing when to stop and not overwork a sketch is something I've always been a little insecure about in my own work. The contour lines of the legs, feet and face with a simple single stroke of skin color is what I like best. Another beauty is Mara Hoffman's illustration which perfectly conveys the bohemian look of her brand with long braids, a headband and a walking fashion figure that is ideal for a long flowing starry gown.
The next sketch by Joie (shown above) is charcoal on pale pink paper and looks as though it was made for Fabulous Doodles! The light lines and partially rendered floral print has such a lovely soft effect. Its airy and feminine and even as a simple sketch, the overall look is on brand with what I've come to and love Joie.
Next is a bolder sketch in monotone black and white by Tome. Its a little heavy handed and different from the others I've chosen, but similar in how it's partially rendered with a slight unfinished look. In this sketch its the body that is barely there, keeping all the focus and detail in palm print dress. And last but not least is stunning watercolor painted fashion illustration by Carmen Marc Valvo. The past few months I've been experimenting more with watercolor and gouache and I love seeing how other artists use it. The saturated black background which washes away toward the bottom is such a unique way to frame an illustration and something I'm eager to try for myself.
I hope you liked my top picks of designer sketches from the Spring 2016 collections and that they inspire you, as they do me, to try something new.
(Illustration by each designer via Elle and WWD.)