Fashion Drawing: Illustration Techniques

Tis the season for new books! Congratulations to Michele Wesen Bryant, Parsons School of Fashion illustration faculty member, for the arrival of her third book, “Fashion Drawing: Illustration Techniques for Fashion Designers.”  The new coffee table/text book is chock full of illustrations, & techniques with a global eye on fashion illustration styles.

Illustrations by Alfredo Cabrera

Michele, an alumni and teacher at Parsons since 1997, teaches digital illustration, drawing and concepts to fashion design students. It was quite interesting to hear her say how she believes fashion illustration now interrupts the prevalent use of photography in fashion, when just a decade or two ago, it was quite the opposite. Fashion illustration as an art form, is positioned for a grand revival, as many bloggers, for example, promote their own work online.

Illustration has taken on a new life-form with the advent of digital illustration as a requirement. This provides the artist and viewer to be able to toggle in, viewing significant detail never before possible. A closeup of a textile sketch supports and enhances the appreciation for tiny details in fashion illustration.  It assists translating these details into the manufacturing process as well.

Hannah Hae In Lee

Just as unique as your own handwriting, fashion illustration differs from person to person, all around the world and that’s okay.

“Solid fashion design begins with an authentic visual language, [it is] extremely personal,
as personal as your signature.” -M. Bryant

The book was created to broadcast the variety of examples, and reinforce to students and the novice, that personal style is critical in fashion illustration. Containing over 1000 pieces of art, the collective works of “Fashion Drawing” will soon become a collectors item. Work from illustrators hails from countries/regions such as Japan, Finland and Siberia, many of whom, not surprisingly, are Parsons alumni.

Michele was quick to point out that the Victoria & Albert Museum is expanding their collections to include fashion illustration. We can only hope some of this work will be cataloged here one day. Bravo to Michele and be sure to visit her website for more information on her creative career.