I've been teaching Fashion Illustration for a year now and never have I been so proud.
For our one of our activities, I asked the students to sketch just one look from their future collection. It was required that they poured their hearts out not just in terms of technique but in mood conceptualization and interpretation as well.
It was not necessarily about producing the usual extravaganza (in Filipino we call it "pabonggahan") since most of them have already done that. This time it was about taking risks and rendering fashion concepts beyond the confines of traditional illustration.
This one really took my breath away. The original painting is quite intense. It is a result of her inspiration, the picture of a fetus and an analysis of why we are afraid of various natural human forms (i.e. fetus) that do not conform to society's current standards of beauty. Although not a typical fashion sketch, this one clearly attempts to draw a portrait of fashion today.
Inspired by her bible and rosary, my student combined sexy with spirituality.
This highly marketable sketch was produced by a student who was so shy about her work I had to pry it out of her hands.
The rest of this illustration is highly detailed but what really captured me is the way she drew faces.
An explosion of strokes, shapes, and silhouettes is produced by a mirror effect on one of the students' sketches.
Nothing pleases me more than a student who has the courage and discipline to show something that is both simple and provocative. She took a portrait of a mother and her children and another portrait of a house in the middle of the forest and focused on the mood rather than the obvious shapes and colours. The neckline and sleeve details were taken from the heavy wooden frame of the portraits. And I cannot go without mentioning how arresting that face is.
Stepping away from the "pretty-girl" look that she usually creates, this work shows how taking risks and not taking the beaten path takes one's talent to the next level. This work is incredible. It juxtaposes strength and playfulness and the details provoke your imagination.
Thank you to my students for bearing with my long lectures that might have bored them a couple of times. It seems though that many of them actually listened and took in all those unconventional design principles (drawing upside-down, tumor silhouettes), inaccurate historical events (world war I & II), and tragic facts (Junko Furuta & the holocaust).
And at the end of the day I realized how much I learned from them as well...