Specs: Fashion Illustration by Fashion Designers Laird Borrelli. Published by Chronicle Books, 2008. $28.99 new.
Pros: This book collects real illustrations used by real fashion designers. These drawings aren't made for advertisements or drawn for public consumption. These are collected from inspiration boards, private sketchbooks and design rooms around the world.
Because these are the inspiration images used for actual collections, it's fun to flip through and spot sketches that inspired actual runway look from favorite designers.
The book focus on the illustrations rather than a bunch of words talking about them. Each designer has a few pages of drawings and a short paragraph describing their drawing style.
Cons: I can't really fault the book for this, but it was missing many of my favorite designers including Alexander McQueen and most of the Japanese.
Really, the book has no cons. It's a fascinating peek inside the world of designer sketches used for inspiration. It left me wanting even more.
Favorite Tidbits: It's difficult to pull tidbits out. I was fascinated to see which designers used stick figures, which ones perfected very realistic sketches, and which ones started with abstract ideas that turned into workable garments.
Betsey Johnson draws what you would expect. Busy, vibrant illustrations that sometimes even include speech or thought bubbles that say things like "Hey! Thights--knee highs--stockings + sock it to me! xox Betsey."
One of Karl Largerfeld's drawings was "Coco between two styles and two worlds."
Alena Akhmadullina draws horse and ram-like animal heads on her illustrations. (pictured on cover).
Aitor Throup (middle)
3.1 Phillip Lim (bottom)