admiration and inspiration – Fashion Illustration Today (1994)

Fashion Illustration Today by Nicholas Drake
It is always worth checking out the books and video section at the thrift store because you never know what you will find.  Earlier this week I was lucky to come across Fashion Illustration Today by Nicholas Drake, a book I had often checked out of the library as a student.  Of course the Today in the title is really 1994, when it was revised for a second edition.

There are all sorts of goodies in here, including early work by Kareem Iliya and Jason Brooks which is heartening to see as a developing illustrator.  While the DNA of their style and their burgeoning talent is very apparent in “Today”, over the next 15 years they both have developed a significantly higher level of  confidence and flair.  In the back, there are small bios of each artist, and for the living artists, there are even phone numbers and street addresses.  As if I could just give Joe Eula or Gladys Perint Palmer a call, or drop by.  “Today” seems so far away!

I took photos of a few selections of spreads including images that are really grabbing me at the moment.  Click the images for big.
Henri Matchavariani
Henri Matchavariani – particularly the image at the right.  What a fabulous flurry of speed and smudgy colour, lines so active they seem to race across the page.

Joe Eula
Joe Eula – ultimate confidence and brevity – especially the image on the left.  Apparently Eula used to take his painters palette to fashion shows, sketch furiously, and wire the images to New York before the photographers could develop their shots.  This inspires me.  I have a post-it note on my computer, some scribbled fragment of an idea “illustrator in the photographer’s pit”.  I can imagine the rush of competitiveness.  This is something I would love to try, though I’ll never be Joe Eula and paintbrushes can never move as fast as pixels.

Thierry Perez
Thierry Perez – just fabulous, over-the top idealized sexy, beauty.  Delicious.

Michael Cooper
Michael Cooper – especially the image on the left.  The sense of spareness and speed matched by a certain intellectuality – using unexpected elements like actual shadows and deliberately un-fashiony proportions.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on TumblrEmail this to someone

4 thoughts on “admiration and inspiration – Fashion Illustration Today (1994)”

  1. Hi Danielle,

    (I heard about your blog from

    I love this book.

    I got it really cheap used when I was in the States visiting familiy during the holidays and I have to say that as a avid collector of illustration, art and fashion illustration books, this is the best one.

    If you have the ‘Fashion Illustration Now’ (1999) book by Laird Borelli-Persson, you’ll see that Thierry Perez style changed completley when he went digital and I have to say I prefer style he had in this book from 1994

    Congrats on publishing your book!

  2. Hi Danielle. I was friends with Michael Copper at F.I.T. in New York the 80’s. He was amazing then.All the major department store used Fashion illustration back then.

    Everyone at school knew he was talented. Watching him draw was as equally inspiring as watching Antonio Lopez who was also an amazing human being.He started his career by the beginning of his second year at school. He also has a wicked sense of humor. I wonder what he is doing now. If he is in NYC or back in Canada.
    I myself interned at Women’s Wear Daily.
    Much success!
    Judy Haron / The Illuminated Letter

Comments are closed.