London-based Dash magazine celebrates fashion illustration as an art form. Editor-in-chief NoéMie Schwaller talks us through significant pieces of their archive
The diffusion of an image of a new collection usually starts at the end of a catwalk. A professional photographer takes a picture that is then sent off to newspapers, magazines, bloggers and PR agencies. In addition, since the introduction of the smartphone and social media, the same looks are being posted through various other channels, only from a different angle. The result: We basically see the same pictures over and over again.
A fashion illustration on the other hand has its origins in the brain of an artist, and thus, becomes so much more than only the depiction of a runway look.
NoéMie Schwaller is co-founder of the London based magazine Dash which is dedicated to the journalistic genre of fashion reporting and illustration as an art form. „In this visually saturated and fast-lived world, it’s illustration which captures our gaze for longer than any snapshot does“, she says.
Illustration by Mats Gustafson
A fashion illustration can do what a mere picture of a runway look cannot: it reflects a point of view and becomes commentary rather than an objective report. An illustrator can lead our focus to what he or she believes is the point of an entire collection by exaggerating it or leaving out the less important bits: maybe it’s the silhouette that is more important than the colours or the fluidity of a fabric that is more telling than its texture.
We asked Schwaller to dig in her archives to discuss why she loves fashion illustration so much, why they are important and which ones touch her the most.
(Illustrations in header: François Berthoud (left) and Cecilia Carlstedt (right))