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Early last year I took a course called Introduction to Fashion Design, or something like that, at Central TAFE in Perth. I had been going to do Fashion Illustration, but there weren’t enough enrolments for that class to run.

So I ended up doing fashion design. Only a short course, one evening a week for 8 weeks I think, but it was very interesting. It was intended as an introductory course for people who actually want to become fashion designers, and covered things like branding, trends in colour and design, and how to present your collection on a story board, which is where the drawing came in.

I find it very difficult to draw realistically, but in fact for fashion illustration that doesn’t really matter, many of the best illustrators have a very representational style, if that’s the word I want. A few lines and splodges, and they can convey enough about a garment that you can picture it in your head. Like this for example. Each student developed their own style, and they were very varied. In line with my very down to earth character, mine was pretty simple and straightforward. I also had a problem with the conventional figure that fashion drawings are based on, you know the skinny one with the extra long legs. Real women don’t look like that for heaven’s sake! I did download some templates from Fashionary, but I ended up not using them and drawing my figures in more realistic proportions. In fact I used photos out of a magazine to base them on, so I know they look more like real women.

I have to admit though, that they do look a bit dumpy, but I’m telling myself that’s because we are all so conditioned to seeing figures with endless legs.

Also in the course, we designed our own logo, having first come up with a brand name. I thought of mine, A Murder of Crows, because one morning when I was leaving home to go to work there was a murder of crows in the front paddock. I afterwards thought of the connection that since I was designing a collection for ‘mature’ women, these clothes might also help them to forget (murder) their crows’ feet. A tenuous connection I admit.

The final part of the course was to put our drawings together on one or more story boards. I have photographed mine, but I took the photos really early one morning, outside, and although it was what I would call daylight, I think it really wasn’t. The photos all have a blue tinge to them, which I can only assume is due to the quality of the early morning light. In some circumstances it could be lovely, but it wasn’t what I was looking for here. I have tried to fix it, but with very limited success, I will have to take the photos again sometime. Here they are in the meantime:

Fashion illustration story board

Fashion illustration story board

Fashion ilustration - flat drawings

Fashion illustration – flat drawings

I found the flat drawings much easier to do than the people wearing the clothes, or even the clothes on people. Probably because I know how clothes are put together, and also because they are two dimensional. All in all, it was an interesting and worthwhile course, I think not least because I was giving myself permission to just play around with drawing.