Over time, her work will be a phenomenal record of the documentation, history, and evolution of fashion.
— Georg Petschnigg, founder of FiftyThree
My name is Danielle Meder, and I am a fashion artist and writer. As an illustrator, I specialize in sketching live at fashion shows, creating complex layered paper dolls, and helping fashion designers communicate their ideas. The theme of my writing is the ephemeral nature of fashion, beauty and fame. I am a regular contributor to the Style section of Canada’s national newspaper The Globe and Mail. My first book, Draw Fashion Now, is published by Quarto.
I am fortunate to live a location independent life, and I divide most of my time among my four favourite cities: Toronto, New York, London and Paris.
Heartfelt thanks for visiting, and please feel free to get in touch.
Portraits by Jonathan Daniel Pryce
Website by Rasin Zakaria
A little bio… I grew up in a log home my father built on a small farm in rural Ontario. My mother is a music teacher, and as kids we were homeschooled. We had an idyllic childhood, as far away from the fashion world as could be. We wore the same clothes every day, there was nowhere to shop, and I never looked at fashion magazines. Instead, I was obsessed with big books surveying the history of costume, which I would take out of the library. As a kid, I would spend many hours creating detailed paper dolls inspired by the way fashion changed through the centuries.
It was obvious that I belonged in the city, not the bush, so as soon as possible I moved to Toronto and attended Ryerson School of Fashion Design. I was a very diligent student, winning competitions and awards, including a jury-winning design for Dr. Martens. Yet when I graduated, I pretty much failed to launch! I couldn’t get or keep a job. Perhaps because I was used to being self-directed, it became clear that I was destined for self-employment. While I was still a student, I started a fashion blog where I posted my drawings. Through that, I gradually built an independent freelance illustration career.
In 2007, I began to sketch at fashion shows, and over the following decade I developed a distinctive live drawing style. I’ve been recorded sketching at fashion week by The New York Times and The Sartorialist, and my live sketches have been featured by Women’s Wear Daily, The Coveteur, FLARE Magazine, The National Post and CNN.
Even now, I still create paper dolls. I’ve made custom dolls for The Hudson’s Bay Company, Bloomingdale’s, Stylist Magazine, and The Cut. I’ve also drawn and consulted for dress-up computer game developers.
Sharing my work and interests with enthusiastic audiences is something I love, and I’ve been lucky to speak at The Apple Store both in Paris and New York, as well as Parsons The New School.
I am very fortunate to make a living by doing what I did for fun as a kid! Even though I started with no connections in the industry, and often struggled during the first seven years of my career, somehow I have been granted entry to the strange and exciting world of international fashion. Thanks so much to everyone who has helped me along the way, I’m deeply grateful.