Research point: Fashion Illustration


“Historically, imagery that promoted the fashions of the day, most notably from the early 20th century to the 1950s,was dominated by illustration. However, the discipline lost ground to photography and it was not until the 1990s the illustrators have returned to this domain. ” – Alan Male 2007


The first thing I had to think about when looking at fashion illustration through out the decades was if there was a different between the sketched made by designers or by the illustrators of advertising. If there was a difference, then which one would I be looking at critically. As I went through images and articles I figured we would be primarily be looking at illustrators work for advertising and packaging.  The largest difference I saw in the imagery of fashion illustration from the 50’s and the 90’s is color palette. I think that during the 50’s we were looking at pastel shades and looks as though many illustrators stayed with in a similar style of illustration. I believe in the 50s in the USA there was a strong desire to conform. In the 90’s the drawings have much larger range of colors, shapes of figures and materials used. I believe fashion illustration changed through out this period. in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s I still see fashion illustration taking place during these decades, but looks as though it mostly the work of designers and less used in advertising or branding. I think this had to do with post war in the 60’s. Leading to more eye-catching imagery than the pastel shades of watercolor fashion illustrations. And I think the trend continued to catch on through out the decades. The 90’s may have changed because of how you could use computers and other technologic advances to mix photography and illustration. I also believe in the 80s the introduction of music videos might have lead to more fashion videos being released. therefor the use of illustration is no longer ‘old fashioned’ and instead an extension of design and creativity.





the 21st century;






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