Whether you’re a dress maker, shoemaker, a maker of accessories or even a graphic designer, before going into the main production, there is something you do – sketch. Fashion sketching otherwise known as fashion illustration is an art of using sketches to present fashion ideas. These sketches may either be on paper or on a computer screen using softwares like Adobe Photoshop. Its importance cannot be waved aside as it is in all frankness Intricate to the success of fashion designing. Let me show you how with these scenarios:
You are sitting in a salon having a nice hairstyle. Everyone who walks in has been complimenting your hair although you aren’t done. What then do you do to confirm their compliments other than look into a mirror to see your reflection, hair features and facial contours?
You are walking past a beautiful scenery. Everything in it captivates you. You really wish to show your friends this beautiful place you see which bears semblance to heaven. How would you go about that? I’ll tell you. You just make use of your smartphone’s camera and take a satisfying shot of what arrests your attention. If you are an artist, painting a lucid picture of it would be fine but even at that, your camera comes as the first resort in situations like this.
Fashion illustration is akin to the depicted scenarios. It is that mirror you look into to have a reflection of the fashion idea in your head and examine its contours. It is that picture in your phone or the sketch/painting on your canvass in which you hold tangibly in remembrance of that beautiful scenery. Wikipedia terms it ‘the art of communicating fashion ideas in a visual form that originates with illustration, drawing and painting.’
As a fashion designer, imagine how tasking it would have been if you only had to describe your ideas to your team members. Let’s put aside the stress. What about miscommunication of ideas? Your team members may not understand your description well and end up creating something totally different from the picture in your head. Sometimes you may be tempted to draft a picture with your words but still the fact remains that a picture speaks more than a thousand words. Whether you’re a newbie in fashion designing or a veteran, you’ll surely agree with me that just as we need mirrors to see our reflections and pictures to tell a story, a fashion designer needs fashion illustration for better efficiency.
Here are 4 reasons fashion illustration will always be important:
Fashion illustration helps in visualizing ideas:
Without a sketch, it is difficult for a designer to explain the idea. Fashion illustration helps you, the designer, in previewing and visualizing your thoughts before production. You get to see exactly how that dress in your head looks. You get to assess every part of the design and even make adjustments where due. Fashion illustration is the first phase of fashion designing. Until you are able to visualize your idea through illustration, nothing can be created.
It allows designers showcase their creativity:
What better way to convince prospective customers of the uniqueness of a design other than showing them a sketch of it. Fashion illustration distincts a particular design from that of other designers. Since no one can see the beautiful picture in your head unless you put it into material form, sketching is one way a designer can get noticed. There are many fashion illustrators today who assist fashion designers in creating illustrations with computer softwares. As a result of the importance of fashion illustration, these illustrators are well-sought after.
It helps in planning and making decisions:
Through sketching, A designer takes other factors into consideration like the type of fabric to use, the colour mix and alterations to the design if need be. Sketching gives you a blueprint of what the fashion product will actually look like. It allows you examine the contours of every design and make necessary adjustments.
Fashion Illustration helps in creating new trends:
Since designers are free to design whatever they wish, they are the creators of new trends in the market. Be it they zebra print, snake skin, off shoulder, monostrap, sling bags or waist bags. Fashion illustration helps designers to create new trends out of current trends. For example, a designer can twist a particular sketch into different new designs thereby creating another trend. This is one way of increasing sales and having a huge clientele-base. Fashion sketches offer something different to customers in so many ways.
As a blueprint is to an architect, so is fashion illustration to a designer.
All illustrations by: Paul Ogbomo