February is just gone and it is time for a new project breakdown: the LFW illustrations.
Back in January, I got contacted by Music, the Manchester based design studio to create a set of illustrations for the upcoming London Fashion week guide at Somerset house. Needless to say I was excited by the idea: How much nicer can a brief get?
They saw La Promenade and a couple of other figurines and thought it would be great to have those figurines in some shape or form on the back of the Floorplan to illustrate the different events occuring during Fashion week.
One of the other projects they were referring to was an abstract pattern I created for Little White Lies magazine a couple of month before.
Edgy and modern was what they were after. And it seemed like they didn’t mind a bit of abstraction in there.
Even though I was sipping rum in Martique at the time, I couldn’t pass on such a cool client and exposure opportunity so I said yes.
When I received the brief, the first thing that caught my eye were those simple and strong geometrical shapes that Music were working with for the layout of the guide itself.
It made it clear why they were refering to the more abstract part of my work as well as the sexy girls. I thought it might be interesting to actually start from there and experiment drawing some figurines made out of triangles, hexagons and circles.
Another nice surprise was the colour palette I had to use : Bold and fresh, exactly what you need to fill in triangles and hexagones. Of course, red and blue were my first pick ; )
My first idea was to draw a line of abstracted characters on a catwalk.
I thought I would play around with the shapes first and actually see if what I was thinking of doing was even possible before going into the nitty gritty of the events themselves.
I absorbed tons of catwalk images to get to the essence of the posture which would be crucial in that instance. And then I got drawing, starting with a single line for the body.
The figurines need to have that very particular posture that models have when walking for a show: shoulders backwards and hips forward in an almost awkward way. It had to be exaggerated and iconic of any catwalk show.
Once I was happy with that overall movement, I started playing around with my 3 shapes almost like a tangram game, figuring out how to create interesting garments. Scale and colours were the only things I could play with at this stage.
I was convinced about the overall direction and so was Music and the Fashion council so now, I had to figure out what our characters were going to wear so that each event would be clearly defined. After experimenting with different outfits, it became clear that having all the figurines in the same position would prove quite tricky when it comes to clearly define each theme. It was limiting me. My figurines were lacking personality and I had to face and fix that. I had Catwalk down as one of the event, now on with the remaining 5.
I explored different positions, each of them giving the emphasis on the essence of the event. A girl holding a giant necklace for Rock Vault, A really powerful front on figure for the Easthetica project to express the attitude of sustainable fashion, A deconstructed medal dress for the ELLE challenge etc… My approach to each theme was in a way very loose and instinctive but I figured that if it made sense to me, it might to others ; )
And apparently it did. I fine tuned everything and it went to print.
I received my leaflet last week on the post and I was actually delighted to see how nicely it came out.
Most importantly, it opens up a really interesting path for my personal work and I can’t wait to experiment more with abstracting my drawings. Give me 10 years and I might end up with a red dot on a blue canvas, who knows….