Wednesday, 30 September 2009

All Things Summer...

It has been a while of no posts but this is due to a Summer of barely any internet access, a blocked phone and never staying in one place for more than a week. Here are some pages of my sketchbook I have been adding to over the past few months, mostly doodles of things I have looking at/doing at that time.

After definitely deciding 10000% I would love to stick to typography, the decorative hand rendered kind not the graphic kind, I spent a good while rifling through old fashion adverti
sements and my fashion illustration books because advertising is always something I've been interested in. I especially love the early 1900's in terms of fashion design itself and fashion illustration, as clothing was informed more by the sinuous aesthetic of the Art Nouveau style, than by any hint of modernity. The fashionable aristocratic and wealthy elite of Europe and North America were swathed in lace, frills and flounces, feather boas and picture hats adorned with birds of paradise or flowers. Dress signified status and and lavish expenditure on clothes epitomized the culture. Therefore fashion illustration itself was as aesthetically moribund as fashion itself, as Illustrators working for high-end fashion magazines such as 'American Vogue' and 'Harpers Bazar' adhered to depicting the dress in often pedantic detail.

I exercised my calligraphy pen and inks and tried repeating some of the typography I was referencing, such as french magazine 'Monsieur' and 'Femina'.

I usually spend so ridiculously long on my work and am generally very pedantic about it so I thoroughly enjoyed having the excuse that it was relevant I spent 3 days on one piece in an a5 sketchbook! It was also appropriate that my addiction to 'pretty' wrapping papers could be included as I could pick out references to nature and animals such as birds.

Aside from the typography side of early 1900's fashion illustration, I really love the work of Jacques Demachy, Rene Gruau, Bernard Blossac because of the sense of sophisticated mystery within the drawings.

I continued to look into the later 1900's, especially the 1960's-1980's when the illustration became more urban and less decorative, however I loved how the fashion advertising developed so much more colour and texture, the more pattern, colour and texture, the better! The 'Club Culture' of Jo Brocklehurst really inspired me as the 'feminine' details of early 1900 fashion became more masculine - less feathers and frills, more studs and metallics. Likewise the sophisticated typographic accompaniments became more provocative slogans. This was very inspirational to me and definitely cemented in my mind that it is the kind of world I am most comfortable living in.

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