Style isn’t just for the designers, but for artists too.
Fashion and art has a long and close relationship, which is perhaps no surprise considering fashion is itself an artform.
Back in 1937 Elsa Schiaparelli collaborated with Salvador Dali to create the iconic lobster dress, worn by Wallis Simpson in Vogue. Schiaparelli is by no means the only designer who was either inspired by an artist or worked with one – remember Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian dresses?
Since then, the relationship between art and fashion has remained tight – just last year beauty brand Urban Decay released a whole make-up range inspired by Jean-Michel Basquiat. And because this is 2019, and we’re officially in the digital age, a lot of this relationship has played out online – particularly Instagram.
It’s not just designers inspired by artists, but also the other way around. There’s a growing trend of illustrators taking their inspiration from current fashion designers and garnering thousands of fans online.
Here are some of the most exciting Insta-illustrators you should be following to really see how fashion and art collide…
1. Gretchen Röehrs
Fashion has something of a reputation for a stiff upper lip, which is why Gretchen Röehrs’ illustrations are such a breath of fresh air. She transforms fruit and vegetables into voluminous dresses or cute miniskirts, sketching women around the fruit.
“Food and fashion are two widely creative, or monotonous chores, of our everyday life,” she explains. “I think it’s fun to combine the two in a clever, cheeky way.”
Röehrs has a talent for really making lettuce come alive and look as haute couture as a Chanel runway show.
2. Irene Alvarez
Madrid-based illustrator Irene Alvarez says she’s inspired by “surrealist, impressionist and renaissance painting” – so you can be sure her designs are full of colour and quirky details.
A self-confessed perfectionist, Alvarez’s drawings are full of details which means you could stare at them for hours. You’ll often see her giving her own spin on Vogue covers or iconic red carpet moments, and she designs clothing which feature her own sketches.
3. Badly Drawn Models
High fashion doesn’t exactly have the most fun reputation – it’s not like you see models giggling down the catwalk very often. This is why we love the humour of Instagram account Badly Drawn Models.
It really does what it says on the tin – illustrator Sean Ryan draws all of the most beautiful and famous models, but gives his own unique spin on their enviable bone structure.
We’re not saying he makes them purposefully look ugly, instead there’s a kind of weird, alien beauty to his style, giving a different perspective to familiar faces.
4. Rosie McGuinness
Rosie McGuinness studied womenswear design, but soon realised that drawing was where she wanted to take her career.
Even though style inspires her work, it’s not your typical fashion Instagram. “Anything too posed, too fashion, and too conceited is not appealing to me,” McGuinness told online art magazine, Ignant. The women you’ll see on her Instagram have a distinctive McGuinness look – feminine, chic and powerful.
Strong lines and even stronger gazes characterise McGuinness’s work, which is a refreshing departure from the often posed nature of Instagram.
5. Blair Breitenstein
Blair Breitenstein has the high fashion seal of approval, having worked with big names like Oscar de la Renta and Prada.
The classic Breitenstein woman is a Sixties siren – we’re talking big lips, long lashes, doe eyes and pouffy hair. She describes her work as “an expressionist take on contemporary high fashion” and works mainly in watercolour.
There definitely is something very “fashion” about the women in her drawings – you almost get the impression they’re staring at you, silently judging what you’re wearing.