Minimal isn’t really in my vocabulary as an Illustrator. If you are an Avid follower of my tumblr, you will know I fawn over embroidery, bells, whistles and amazing Haute Couture looks.
That section of me hasn’t gone anywhere, don’t fret, however with the most recent sketches, I really wanted to challenge myself with something a little more sleek and minimal.
As many Fashion Followers know, there is one ultimate Queen of minimal, Phoebe Philo at Céline.
Philo’s Fall 2013 Collection for Céline was a lot less ridged and fragile than her previous seasons. The clothes looked a lot more relaxed, easily incorporated into someones wardrobe, comfy almost.
The idea of comfort is obviously established in the first look I chose. A grey Cashmere coat which actually ‘Hugs’ the wearer. Enlarged sleeves wrap around the body, cocooning the model in a bundle of beautiful, soft material.
There is always a sense of shape and emphasis in my sketches, which actually becomes more visible in the simpler garments, which use the shape to really capture the audience’s attention. It also means I can use many more “Dress Making” details in the sketches such as seams and creases, without them becoming lost under masses of embroidery or detail.
Although known for Minimal Elegance, Phoebe Philo likes to play with unconventional materials, and “High/Low” design. This second look took the pieces of the collection based on basic Laundry Bags.
Although not the first time this idea has been used (Marc Jacobs did a series of ‘Laundry Bags’ for the Louis Vuitton Spring 2006 Show), Phoebe wove the pattern, transferred into leather and neoprene, onto tops and wrap skirts.
Céline’s big business is in bags. You just need t take a look at the swathes of ‘It Girls’ and editors at Fashion Week to see the Celine ‘Phantom’ or ‘Luggage’ drifting on the arms of anyone. I really tried to incorporate them in this set of sketches, as they really are an important part of the Céline brand.
The third look I chose is similar to the first. This time a cream cashmere dress, featuring the same wrapped arms as the coat previously. I really like the shape of this dress. It gives the sketch something to focus on without having to cover it in embellishments. The craftsmanship in simplistic garments is often forgotten as its not always completely visible, however this dress really shows the imagination Philo and her team have.
This look also features the, now iconic, thigh-high leather boots which editors across the World are clambering to shoot, wear or just have. They just add to the sleek, polished aesthetic Philo strives to create every season, merging the entire body into one form.
I’ve recently started taking extreme care to shade my sketches correctly, as I think it adds a certain depth to each sketch, making it less 2D. This is clearly visible here as you can see the knot of the two sleeves together around the waist.
The fourth look is again, based on the Laundry Bag material. This woven leather coat is actually reversible, seen as the coat splays open revealing its inverted lining in red.
This sketch really took concentration as the pattern is so regimented and specific, teamed with the simple shape of the jacket, making there no room for error. I think the concentration payed off once the whole sketch finished.
This closeup of the coat shows how I tried to make the pattern appear woven into the coat, instead of just sat on-top of the material. Again, the shading came in really useful, portraying the way the coat falls to reveal the contrasting lining it has. This sketch also featured another iconic Céline bag, the ‘Trapeze’, featuring enlarges sides and double handle.
The final look I chose is probably about as embellished as Phoebe Philo gets. A cream jacket spotted with small tufts of black feathers. The jacket features short, wide sleeves with a frayed hem and large vent at the back. teamed with a neutral skirt and neoprene turtleneck, I really like the simplicity of this look, even though it is probably deemed as one of Philo’s ‘fussiest’.
Here is a close up of the most desirable bag since the Chanel 2.55 clutch. The Céline Phantom is on everyone, including my, wish-list. I created this one with grey suede and woven black leather details to accompany this outfit.
The bag has actually been stated to look like a Cyberman from British TV series Doctor Who, which, after growing up with the TV show, I can totally see in the zipper ‘Mouth’ and handle as the Eyes and Headwear of the ‘Monster’.
The new Céline Spring/Summer 2014 show has just taken place in Paris today, so I should probably expect some more Céline Sketches on my tumblr very soon!
(All images COPYRIGHT).