Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Book-100 Years of Fashion Illustration

Cally Beackman - 100 Years of Fashion Illustration




Having discovered Cally Beackman's "100 Years of Fashion Illustration" is like stumbling up a museum of fashion and art. The title might suggest a in-depth study on fashion illustration, it is indeed a chronicle of fashion, using illustrations as examples of particular styles, designers, times, and trends, . Little is discussed on illustration techniques, nor can you expect to learn the use of wash and tips on rendering. Instead, trends of different times and the stories concealed behind are thoroughly investigated. The figure-concealing tubular dresses of the early 20s, the feminine yet natural (that is, compared to the painful hour-glass silhouettes of earlier times) silhouettes of the 30s... this book not only spots the trends and demonstrates them using fashion illustrations, it goes one step further into investigating the reasons behind every trend. Why is a hemline longer, why is focus being put on the shoulders... And the reasons demonstrated lie somewhere beyond beauty and fashion itself. Be it the war, a shortage of fabric, or other major cultural, economic and technological changes in the society... It makes me rethink fashion as not only about visionary beauty and personal taste, but also a means of recording a bigger picture, the evolution of human society and civilisation. To this extend, fashion illustration itself serves as the pencils and papers of that record, but just like literature, fashion illustration's nature brings with it eternal imagination, romance, exaggeration, and the pursuit of perfection, which are indeed the paramount beauty of this genre of art. Therefore, despite of being a little disappointed not learning anything about fashion illustration, it was indeed a delight to read this book. After all, what is fashion illustration without fashion?

Scanned some of my fav pages from the book, hope this doesn't break any law...

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