live runway sketching – the shOws SS14

the shOws calla 4 web

At the end of the season, it was such a pleasure to come back to Toronto. I felt honoured to be commissioned for the first time as the official sketch artist at the shOws, which showcases work by a very exclusive set of Canadian fashion designers. Not only are the clothes fascinating, the production is tip-top and I had an optimal view of the show from the front row. After many seasons of hustling to get access, dealing with awkward sketching conditions, and working to find clients for this style, everything finally was as it should be – good! I had no excuse but to deliver my best work yet, and I am proud of the finished portfolio.

the shOws backstage 1 web

All-access meant I had time to warm-up by sketching the models backstage getting their hair and makeup done by P&G beauty.

the shOws backstage paola web


The producer of the shOws is Paola Fullerton – I managed to catch her in her Jeremy Laing bondage jacket as she circuited around the venue.

the shOws calla 1 web

This was the first time I had a chance to see Calla‘s work in person (the illustration at the top is also her design) – I loved the challenge of rendering her cool prints on her delightfully disheveled surfer girls. This plaid hooded A-line dress is a knockout.

the shOws jeremy laing 3 web

This was my second pass at sketching Jeremy Laing‘s SS14 collection and this time I tried to do a better job of catching the 1990s throwback colour palette. His boys with their tousled hair draped in filmy fabrics are an indulgent teen dream.

danielle_illustrator by U-Jin

Photographer U-Jin surprised me by capturing me at work, perfectly positioned at the end of the runway.

the shOws jeremy laing 4 web

Another highlighter ensemble from Jeremy Laing.

A small technical thing affected these images – the paper I used was a bit more yellow than my usual paper, which had to be corrected in scanning and editing – but it’s a shame, because some of my more successful use of colour this year really doesn’t come across as well as it could. As I come to the end of the season, even though this is my most mature work yet, I find I’m creating a mental list of adjustments I want to make for next season – reviewing the images and trying to figure out how I can do this even better.

the shOws steven tai 3 web

This last illustration is of a design by Steven Tai – his clothes are so incredibly detailed, the art of live sketching really doesn’t do them justice, but I felt I captured some of the freshness of the effect. His clothing is elaborately technological, computer-crafted versions of mass-manufactured classics, a really unique vision of what fashionable street wear could be.

Thank you so much to Paola at the shOws and Desia at brill communications for a wonderful assignment!

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