Sharpen your pencils: we lay our hands on these illustrated pieces
Print and patterns are lightening up our looks to welcome the sunny season. But it’s not all about florals anymore. Designers are getting hands-on with crafty touches and illustrations that will give an artful twist to any garment. From sharp pencil strokes to soft paintbrush lines, labels are using clothes as a canvas to bring wearable art into our wardrobe this spring
As a recurring theme in their work for Jil Sander, Luke and Lucie Meier once again took nature as a driving force of their spring 2019 collection, which comes in a colour palette of neutral hues, ranging from almond to sky blue and sage. Left in their raw appearance, the minimalistic shirts and dresses are made out of natural yet sturdy fibres, such as leather and canvas, while skin-tight knits and soft draped skirts also leave freedom for the body to move naturally. A human touch then comes to enliven the jumpers and shirts, through pencil sketches of a nude female form hand embroidered on the pieces, emphasising the refined and delicate spirit of the collection.
Dance is the main inspiration behind Acne Studios’ SS19 collection. Fluid silhouettes in sheer jersey accentuate a dancer’s movements, while more voluminous pieces are worn over the light slip dresses and tank tops after a rehearsal in the studio. Creative director Jonny Johansson used graphics and prints from old ballet posters patched onto T-shirts and blouses, while pencil drawings of grand opera houses create a toile de jouy effect on leggings and long shirt dresses, enhanced with golden lamé. Drawing on the legendary Swan Lake ballet, Johansson created a print which at first glance seems to be watercolour waves on a white canvas. The pattern then takes form of a swan motif, also reflected in the swan-shaped crystals adorning the garment.
Debuting the first collection for her own label Plan C last September, Caroline Castiglioni – heir of the Marni dynasty – introduced an aesthetic of timeless staples mixing feminine elements, such as ruffles, sundresses and crochet, with oversized silhouettes from the men’s wardrobe, to celebrate a strong and self confident silhouette. There is also something very personal about this collection found in the naïve artworks printed on sweatshirts and clutches which came courtesy of Castiglioni’s young daughter Margherita. Representing her brother Filippo and friend Bianca, the two characters were brought to life from paper to garments making them quirky, fashionable friends to carry around.
Inspired by the work of artists and architects, Roksanda looked at how their art goes beyond their main discipline to influence other crafts around them. On top of the list stood Swiss architect Le Corbusier’s tapestry, murals and ceramics, which had a direct impact on the hand drawn feminine artwork used as a common thread throughout the airy dresses and colour block cotton tops. ‘Our own interpretations of his abstract illustrations are applied in several techniques from hand embroidery to patchwork dresses, and the same emotive figures appear again screen printed onto silk scarves and knits,’ explains Roksanda. ‘These studies of the female form are part of my commitment to exploring the art of feminine recalibration.’
Born from an Irish mother and Chinese father, Simone Rocha drew on the second half of her heritage, and especially her experience in Hong Kong, to compose her summer collection. Flower brocades and embroideries punctuate the bubble hem gowns with puffball sleeves, giving volume to the overall romantic flair. The real focus of the garments however sprung from ancestral references such as 16th-century Chinese ladies from the Tang dynasty and vintage portraits of concubines Rocha found in a market in Hong Kong. From these images, the London-based atelier created red and gold illustrations traced onto the delicate silk dresses, while elsewhere, artworks were directly printed on the whole garments. A delightful mix of East and West. §