First Look: Meet 90 Contemporary Fashion Illustrators

Photo: Cecilia Carlstedt

“Fashion illustration requires the unique ability to wield pen or brush in such a way that it not only captures nuance through gesture but also can readily transform the graphic representation of a garment, accessory or cosmetic into an object of desire,” writes expert Steven Heller in the introduction to Taschen’s latest trilingual tome, Illustration Now! Fashion, set to be released in December. The 400-page book, edited by Julius Wiedemann, is filled with the works of 90 contemporary fashion illustrators from all over the globe — from Ruben Toledo, Aurore de La Morinerie, and Tanya Ling, to the artists the Cut has worked with over fashion weeks, Bil Donovan and Samantha Hahn.

The hypnotizing hand-drawn creations sprawled out on full pages — a mix of precise pen-meets-digital works, inks, and dreamy watercolors — offer alternative, stunning interpretations of the attire we’ve grown accustomed to seeing photographed down runways or stylized in whimsical editorials. In a way, these works offer a sense of closure to the entire life cycle of a fashion illustration, which always begins with the initial sketches of patterns and shapes dreamed up by the designer. The creations of these 90 artists, the reinterpretations of final looks that are sent down the runway, add an additional layer to the finished designs and also elevate them to a new realm that beautifully straddles fashion and art. For a sneak peek, click through the slideshow to see an exclusive look at works of ten artists featured in the book.

First Look: 90 Contemporary Fashion Illustrators