Inspiration can be hard to come by during down time. Now that the usual fixes for a creative dry spell – meeting with friends, visiting a gallery, taking a meditative stroll – are no longer options, the quickest creative pick me up is to check in on what other people are up to.

Hair artist Julien D’ys is one person never low on artistic output. Over the years, he has amassed hundreds of notebooks all bursting with sketches, paintings and photographs that have formed the basis of his work with Comme des Garçons, John Galliano, Karl Lagerfeld and Marni, to name a few. ‘My notebook is like my brain,’ D’ys says. ‘I draw, I think, from there I built my idea and bring it in life.’

an illustration of a blue face next to a drawing of an elongated man
drawing of a blue hand reaching out to a face with stars on it
Top, Drawings of the hair styles for the Comme des Garçon Fall 2020 show, left, and the Marni Fall 2020 show, right. Bottom, Drawings of the glitter and paint make up models wore for the Marni Fall 2020 show

Included here are some of the sketches D’ys made in preparation for the 2020 Marni and Comme des Garçons shows. For Marni, the inspiration was ‘Alice in Wonderland mix with acid and rave, rebel kids,’ with colours drawn from the work of ‘Egon Schiele and some Russian paintings.’ The end result, a gang of  lanky models dripping with glitter and paint, their sinewy hair lacquered to their faces as if they just emerged from a crowded dance floor, was easily the beauty sensation of Milan Fashion Week.

The concept for Comme was far more simple but no less striking. ‘For Comme des Garçons I always get one word from Rei and this time she said BLACK and I start from there. I made some drawings and from there I created wigs showered by black ink.’

the word black drawn in black paint on a white background
image of a man in glittery make up next to a drawing of a man in glittery make up
Top, Sketches for the Fall 2020 Comme des Garçons show. Bottom, Sketches for the Marni Fall 2020 show 

In a time when you might have more time then ever, perhaps take a note from D’ys and pick up your pen or make up brush to make your own beautiful creations. §

abstract line drawings of models with cages on their heads
Drawings of the hairstyles for Comme des Garçon Fall 2020