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ILLUSTRATIVE DAZE Fashion illustration for the purpose of marketing and promotion


ILLUSTRATIVE DAZE Concept,

Illustrations,

Text by CAROLINE JEFFERY


FASHION AS ART

THE PROJECT

The well-debated question “Is Fashion Art?” is a recurring topic inside and outside of the fashion industry. No answer has been set in stone and many have strong and varied opinions. Without a doubt fashion is creative, innovative, and recycled. It is inspired and helps to inspire others.

Fashion is constantly recycled – will the marketing and promotional methods of fashion recycle too?

This brochure explores the concept “Fashion As Art”. It questions current fashion brand’s marketing and promotion strategies and tries to connect the brands with fashion’s illustrative roots. The concept and project was created as Caroline Jeffery’s Final Major Project for her Fashion and Promotion (BA Hons) Degree at Southampton Solent University. The final fashion illustrations that were the product of this project were exhibited at Re:So Gallery in Southampton from 22- 26 April 2013.

Fashion illustration is the communication of fashion through the arts of illustration, drawing and painting. These methods used to be the main promotional tool for fashion brands. Fashion illustration died out when fashion photography began to appear in the 50’s as a cheap and quick method of promotion. Currently fashion illustration is not often used for brand’s main promotion or marketing advertisment, while fashion photography seems to be a main medium for promotion. Photography is no longer an inexpensive option for advertisment and gives the opptunity for illustration to return. For this project, five individual briefs have been set for separate and diverse fashion brands. These briefs have been met through illustrative form. The purpose of this project is to show the impact of fashion illustration as a promotional and marketing tool and to prove the point that fashion illustration is relevant and should be used more often as a vessel in creative campaigns. This brochure shows each brief, how they were met and the outcome.

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The MUGLER Project ILLUSTRATIVE DAZE - 4

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MUGLER Project

The brand MUGLER, previously known as Thierry Mugler, released its first haute couture collection in 1992. Since that time the brand has expanded to amazing heights, becoming internationally recognised across the fashion world. The brand has also produced successful perfume and cosmetics lines around the world. Upon the new appointment of its creative designer Nicola Formichetti, MUGLER began planning how the inspirations of the brand could be promoted through creative concepts. The brief of this project is to create a series of pieces of art in illustrative form to promote the brand. Celebrity muses Beyonce Knowles, Dita Von Teese, Lady Gaga and Rick Genest have inspired the brand over recent years and should be the main focus of this project. Through the images, a subtle narrative should be injected for people who are interested to discover the in-depth meaning and significance surrounding the promotional campaign. The final outcome should be a series of artistic pieces appropriate for the MUGLER history book which is currently in production. The illustration should mirror the characteristics and inspiration from the celebrity muses of MUGLER.

Illustration of pop icon Beyonce Knowles

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Illustration of preformer Lady Gaga posing with cigarette

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Rick Genest AKA Zombie Boy wears MUGLER suit in illustration

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Outcome for MUGLER Illustrations

MUGLER is famous for collecting images of his creative work and life experiences. These pieces of illustrative art are intended to be added to the MUGLER history book of fashion and mirror his signature style of “fashion fetish fantasy”, the title of his first book in 1999. MUGLER works in different artistic media: fashion, photography, films, videos. Therefore it is appropriate to use muses from the field of celebrity for each of these illustration pieces. Each muse is exciting and creative in his/ her own way: Beyonce Knowles, Dita Von Teese, Lady Gaga and Rick Genest. Each one of these figures provides stunning visual impact with a unique opulent creativity. The art medium chosen for these simple yet intricate fashion illustrations is pen, ink and colour wash, which emphasises and captures the subtle contours of the costume styles. Each muse makes a bold fashion statement and the understated contouring and shading gives each work the feel of a sciencefiction image. The Dita Von Teese image is taken from a series of MUGLER photographs entitled “Sovereigns of the Pleasure Dome” with a futuristic feel. Beyonce’s costume is taken from the 2009 world tour, for which Thierry Mugler did the styling. Lady Gaga and Mugler once shared the stylist Nicola Formichetti who designed her famous “meat dress”. Formichetti has also styled the fourth illustration muse Rick Genest (also known as Zombie Boy). His body is a chiaroscuro of both light and dark – part “gentle warrior”, part “artful dodger” and he has inspired a cult following. Eighty per cent of his body is covered with tattoos and his tattoo themes include an entire skeleton and body decomposing with insects. All four muse illustrations are fascinating and compelling in their simplicity and directness. The images of these muses helps to create a narrative within the campaign and exhibits relevance to real life events.

Illustration of famous burlesque dancer Dita Von Tease looking futuristic in MUGLER

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The Jeremy Scott Project ILLUSTRATIVE DAZE - 12

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Jeremy Scott Project

The brand Jeremy Scott is well renowned for not conforming to fashion stereotypes and for constantly going against the grain of the norm. For this reason, the Jeremy Scott brand is once again changing the fashion world, this time in promotion and marketing. Stepping away from standard photography campaigns, Jeremy Scott will associate fashion with art again through the use of multimedia and artistic illustration as a dominant promotional tool. Jeremy Scott’s inspirations are recognised for their eccentricity, and this is exemplified in his designs. The project itself is a retrospective insight into the life and work of Jeremy Scott for the promotional benefit of the brand. Exploring Jeremy Scott’s childhood is a main element of this project due to his inspirations mainly coming from this era of his life. The brief consists of creating a series of artistic pieces relying heavily on fashion illustration to help to promote the work of Jeremy Scott. It is key to have strong narrative and purpose throughout the images, this is to give an indepth quality to the individual works. This artistic approach sets it apart from other campaigns as it is no longer something to glance at, but to take in. Due to the cartoonish nature of most of Scott’s creations, illustration will be the primary focus of media during the campaign. The idea for these pieces is for them to be used as decorative design for the up- and-coming Jeremy Scott iPhone and iPad cases. The modern accessories are to be available to the public by the end of 2013.

iPhone case on left and iPad case design on right

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Outcome for Jeremy Scott Illustrations

Jeremy Scott has previously told The Observer magazine that his childhood clearly plays a huge part in the inspiration for many of his collections, “Cartoons were a huge part of my life. I grew up out in the country with very poor TV reception, but I had endless amounts of cartoons of VHS tape”. This quotation inspired the illustrations for the two iPad and iPhone illustration designs. The first of the two designs shows a VHS tape in the top left-hand corner of the product template with tape unraveling, which represents a catwalk. The hidden narrative behind this shows the VHS tape coming alive and turning into fashion garments. Each model on the catwalk is wearing an iconic item of Jeremy Scott that shows inspiration from 90’s childhood TV programmes including the Flintstones, My Little Pony and Pop Telephone Dial. For the iPhone case design, due to lack of space, the focus fell on the Flintstones inspired design. This is because the garment is very recognizable to 90’s kids. Bright and bold colours have been used in the background to tie with the funk/ pop feel of illustration. The second design shows figures wearing vintage TV sets. This demonstrates the hidden narrative of the television sets representing how things that used to be shown through the TV screen have been recycled into fashion pieces. One of Scott’s most recognizable designs, the Bart Simpson outfit is worn on key figures in the illustration. The outfit shows the connection between Scott’s childhood cartoon programmes and fashion. The face of the main figure and only figure on the iPhone design is a pixelated smiley face. This face and other pixelated faces have been used in Jeremy Scott’s previous work, they are confusing to they eye yet amusing and bring back the memory of old technology.

iPhone case on left and iPad case design on right

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The TOPSHOP Project ILLUSTRATIVE DAZE - 18

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TOPSHOP Project

TOPSHOP, leader of the Arcadia group, is among high street fashion’s all time successes. The brand is constantly striving for the new through relentlessly looking for fresh and unique marketing and promotional strategies that are appealing to TOPSHOP’s hugely broad clientele. TOPSHOP has previously conducted campaigns in which complementary bags were given to customers as a reward for spending a certain amount of money in stores. These campaigns have proven to be successful in boosting Topshop’s sales, whilst doubling up as an excellent promotional tool when worn after the customer’s purchase. The brief is to create a series of designs for a new line of complementary tote bags, using the creative means of fashion illustration. Each series of previous TOPSHOP bags has had a running theme to its designs, and this line is to be no different. Each bag must represent the concept of a ‘floral summer girl’. This term can be interpreted by the designer in any way he/she wishes to do so, as long as there are four final design ideas submitted.

Floral illustrated bag design

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TOPSHOP floral girl in dark pink colours

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TOPSHOP floral girl in light pink colour

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Outcome for TOPSHOP Illustrations

The key symbol for the “Summer Girl” theme was the “rose”. The “rose” was chosen above other summer flowers, chiefly for its symbolic associations and popularity. It is the most popularly sent flower for special occasions. Behind the rose is a richness of meaning and lush symbolism, including the famous Medieval Romance literature – “The Romance of the Rose” where the rose represents female generative power and the mystery of woman herself. Historically the rose is a much used symbol, from ancient Egyptian times as the emblem of the god Horus,in Greek mythology, as the gift Aphrodite gave to her son Eros and in the 16th century, as the symbol of the Tudor dynasty. The dominant colours of all four designs for the bags are dusky fuchsia rose pink and vibrant green. The four designs submitted were created using the mixed media of acrylic and gouache paints which gave the particular vibrant colour tones and hues that were necessary on each bag to make them eyecatching. The other media used was paper and origami methods for the roses. Stitching was also used for the texture of the petals. Two of the bag designs feature a girl’s face – one in lighter colours to represent the colours of spring, the other in slightly darker tones more reminiscent of the transformation of summer into autumn. Another design features a body of people standing up. The body of four figures in the background are made from painted text pages of a novel. The words run vertically creating a line, representing the stems of a rose; the figures wear illustrated floral head pieces which will be for sale in TOPSHOP stores this summer. Two fashion figures stand in the middle while origami roses have been used for the body/ garments. Colours can spark different emotions in people, as with the poem “Correspondences” by the French poet Baudelaire, where colours and other sense perceptions trigger the imaginative thoughts of the poet. Likewise for me, the vibrant colours of leaf, stem and rose triggered memories of a Shakespeare presentation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and the dance of the fairies which was the inspiration for these figures. The final bag design for the “floral summer girl” depicts simply styled lettering with garland, leaf designs and a stylised face. TOPSHOP text incorporated with floral fashion illustration

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The ROBERTO CAVALLI Project ILLUSTRATIVE DAZE - 26

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Roberto Cavalli Project

Roberto Cavalli is renowned for his rich opulence within his women’s wear design. This is exemplified by the rich textures and colour schemes within his work, incorporating a number of luxury animal prints into his designs. A clear influence in Cavalli’s style is the island of St. Tropez. Known for its unrivalled affluence, St Tropez is an area that is populated by the wealthiest people in society. Naturally, Cavalli’s work has always catered to the expensive tastes of his clientele. The beautiful illustrative side of Roberto Cavalli is strong but never seen in promotional and marketing tools. This is something that the brand wishes to change. Illustration is an art and luxury that Cavalli wishes to reflect in his brand. Fashion drawing is a natural skill that can relate to Roberto Cavalli’s natural animal and surrounding inspirations. The brief is to create a number of well presented fashion illustrations that reflect the Roberto Cavalli brand. These drawings should depict all of the affluent nature and indulgence of Cavalli’s designs through rich colour schemes coupled with strong and demanding animal prints. The illustrator is encouraged to interpret the brief in his/her own imaginative and creative fashion. The purpose of the finished works is that they are to be transferred as designs onto gloves and presented to Cavalli’s most valued customers as a promotional gift. Silk gloves are often synonymous with the idea of affluence and class, a mindset that ties perfectly into the ideology of the Cavalli brand.

Rich nature inspiration for glove design. The main nature inspiration being Zebra.

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Outcome for Roberto Cavalli Illustrations

The brief to create two pairs of women’s gloves for a professional exercise for Roberto Cavalli uses the ideal medium of fashion illustration. The signature style of Cavalli is richness, opulence and animal patterns. Cavalli has stated that... “he copies the dress of an animal because he loves to copy God who he regards as the most fantastic designer”. Using the mixed media of pen and ink and crayons, the illustration boards for the two sets of gloves show a richness of detail in the animal and human figures. The hidden narrative and message in the illustrations is that the animals and nature are taking back what they rightfully consider is theirs- their colouring and their patterns. The opulence, colour and detail of the decoration mirrors these qualities in Cavalli’s fabrics and designs, including the choice of patterned animals. The medium of gloves as a luxury item is also symbolic of the opulence of the European jet-set lifestyle to which Cavalli belongs and takes his inspiration.

Rich nature inspiration for glove design. The main nature inspiration being Leopard.

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The Z AR A Project ILLUSTRATIVE DAZE - 32

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Zara Project

The dominant high street brand Zara takes only two weeks to create an idea and produce it, ready to be placed on the shop floor. This is testament to the unrivalled work ethic of the company’s design team. Daniel Piette, the fashion director of Louis Vuitton, has described Zara as “possibly the most innovative and devastating fashion retailer on the planet”. This goes a long way to explain the ethos of the company. Zara is a brand that reflects quality at all costs and has been largely successful for this reason. The brief for this project to create an illustrative storyboard, depicting the dayto-day life and fashions of the ‘Zara lady’. The storyboard will be presented in a number of fashion illustrations that will be able to stand alone as a promotional work, but also contain a linear narrative when placed together. The life of a ‘Zara lady’ is that of our target clientele; a successful 26 year old businesswoman who enjoys socialising in and around various high-end cocktail bars with friends around the city. She has romance in her life, although she is not necessarily married. The different images should reflect each of these aspects of her life in a creative and illustrative fashion, depicting a different Zara outfit to suit every aspect of the ‘Zara lady’ life. This, in turn, will reflect the flexibility of our designs for day-to-day use. The style of illustration should reflect the brand, and therefore should exercise a more simple and elegant style of drawing, prospectively harkening back to the classic illustrative style of Chanel. The finished pieces of art will be exhibited in a gallery in their intended linear format, to encourage the idea of a ‘Zara lady lifestyle’. They will be accompanied by a short written piece to explain the ideas behind the work. After the initial showing within the gallery, the illustrations will be used as promotional tools for the brand in store windows, and on posters and billboards.

Zara woman illustrated being the main focus in social situation

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The Zara woman showing an elegant lifestyle

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The Zara woman’s work life

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Outcome for Zara Illustrations

The illustration pieces were created in acrylic paint and mixed media of pencil and crayon on canvas to reflect the elegant and understated luxury style of Zara. The basic theme connecting each of the four illustration pieces is the life and fashions of the archetypal Zara lady. The same woman, recognised by her orange hair, appears in each in each portrait which reflects a different aspect of her busy life as a high powered business woman, surrounded by her adoring male fans, at an evening business banquet, getting ready for cocktails, and spending some romantic time with a male companion on a weekend break in Paris. In each of the different tableaux representing aspects of her life, our Zara woman is wearing the Zara styles most suited to the occasion, a crisp cream suit with black lapels for business, an elegant cocktail dress for socialising, a simple white but elegant tailored dress for an evening function and a trouser/ blouse ensemble for letting her hair down on a romantic break. For inspiration, the style of fashion illustrator Rene Gruau was chosen. This is due to her clever use of colour block backgrounds, sharp lines of figures, contrasts between black and white and occasional use of doorways or vistas to frame or emphasize her mannequins. The figures are stylised and sharply angled, with the economy of lines meaning less is definitely more. A particular illustration of Gruau, a girl in a red cocktail dress opening a door, was chosen and adapted so that the new Zara woman is holding a glass of red wine. The dress was changed to a sky blue Zara cocktail dress. Another Gruau illustration of a woman in a black tuxedo and rose was the inspiration behind the tableau of male tuxedos during an evening gathering. As Paris features in Gruau’s illustration, Paris was the ideal choice for this campaign’s heroine’s romantic location. The idea of the female as the central figure surrounded by males in evening dress is from another Gruau piece, this time alternating the dress and change of the surrounding details like a cocktail stand.

The romace illustrated in the Zara woman’s life

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Illustrations exhibited at Re:So gallery The content of this brochure was put on exhibition at Re:So Gallery, Southampton on 22nd – 26th April 2013. The illustrations and project outcome received a lot of positive response, which proves the impact that fashion illustration can still provoke. ILLUSTRATIVE DAZE - 40

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IS FASHION ART?

Fashion may be seen as merely donning items of clothing by some people, while for others it is a way of creatively expressing their personality; wearing items that they have put together themselves, similar to the paints you put together on your brush and then onto the canvas. Some people have mastered this effect so expertly they are themselves a walking work of art and command instant attention from everyone else the minute they walk into a room. The art of illustration could be seen as the means of connecting art with fashion. This project is both fashion-based and artistically-based demonstrating that the whole concept points in favour of the question “Is Fashion Art?”. Yet this could just be another opinion as the debate continues. Do you believe fashion is art? Has this project changed your opinion?

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THE PROJECT

In this project I wanted to revive the concept of fashion illustration that allows the beholder to explore beyond the boundaries of the image into the far-flung realms of creativity, aesthetics and the imagination in the true spirit of art. Fashion illustration transcends photography because it brings with it an extra creative dimension. You can draw on any source you please for creative inspiration; from literature, like “The Romance of the Rose”, from fairytale, legend, or history; such as Ancient Egypt, Victorian times or from science-fiction of the future. There are no limits...Fashion illustration, as opposed to photography, can quickly capture any style in the most spellbinding, captivating manner and can engage the spectator in a way that photography can only aspire to with out graphic help. - CAROLINE JEFFERY

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