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Copenhagen-based fashion illustrator and model, Benedikte Klüver, distinguishes her work by incorporating abstract lines and negative space in colorful interpretations of fashion. Continuing the illustrated mini-series, I learned the process behind her illustrations.

Cocaine Pretti: There’s been a recent interest in fashion illustration and the interactive platform it provides. Do you feel the relationship between illustrators and designers/publications will continue to develop? How? 

Benedikte Klüver: It's all about getting inspiration, ideas, or [viewing] fashion/art from a different angle. If we look in the past, illustrators, "traditional" artists, and designers have always been inspired by each other. [For example], Yves Saint Laurent and his Mondrian dress.

CP: Illustrating editorial portraits stemming from fashion influence, what is it about fashion that is of particular interest to you? 

B. KlüverWhen I walk through the streets of Copenhagen, I enjoy watching the trends and the color combinations people are wearing. And when I begin a painting, my mind just starts to create something I've seen through the day. I just paint what I like to see and what I have admired without really thinking about it.

CP: Are there other artists or art forms that influence your work? If so, how do you interpret this inspiration?

B. KlüverI've painted and created art my whole life. [I] tried almost every art form I can think of through my art class. That has definitely influenced my development as an artist by looking back on all those projects we have made through time. 

CP: In a quick step-by-step how to, could you tell/show us how to sketch a basic illustration? 

B. KlüverI have made so many illustrations by now, my hand just automatically begins to do the basic lines for a mouth or an eye when I begin. Then I have something to go out from and I start thinking of what my next move is going to be by seeking into my mind.

CP: If you weren’t drawing, the next best thing would be?

B. KlüverI have always been interested in physics and biologyso maybe something scientific. Also, I do have my new job as a model. If it goes well I would definitely make it an opportunity...  but I can't really think of my life without the drawing.

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Franziska Michael S/S '14

Franziska Michael S/S '14

Franziska Michael S/S '14

Franziska Michael S/S '14

Franziska Michael S/S '14

Franziska Michael S/S '14

Franziska Michael S/S '14

Franziska Michael S/S '14

Franziska Michael S/S '14

Franziska Michael S/S '14

Franziska Michael S/S '14


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shana jade photography

shana jade photography

shana jade photography

shana jade photography

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The GoodHood Store

Presenting their first women's lookbook, The GoodHood Store recently released the spring '14 collection titled 'This is Not A Love Song'. Loose silhouettes portray a tomboy-chic aesthetic suggesting essential pieces can make an interesting statement.

The GoodHood Store

The GoodHood Store

The GoodHood Store

The GoodHood Store

The GoodHood Store






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Maja Stabel is an artist and designer with a distinct niche for water color paintings. Continuing the illustrated mini-series, I get her perspective on influence and illustration.

Cocaine PrettiThere’s been a recent interest in fashion illustration and the interactive platform it provides, i.e. runway shows. Do you feel the relationship between illustrators and designers/publications will continue to develop? How?
Maja: Yes, it's interesting how Fashion Illustration really has had it's comeback (in) recent years. I think it has something to do with this hole shift that is going on; back to basics - to slow living and handcrafted goods.There's something authentic and nostalgic about hand drawn images.
I definitely think the relationship between designers/publications will develop because illustration is a way for art and commerce to co-exist, something that makes it an attractive communication tool. It also gives so much more freedom to explore and visualize ideas - either on the spot or you can mold it as you like over time. I think we will see much more fashion illustration in everything from commercials to magazines to interior design.

CP: Illustrating editorial portraits stemming from fashion influence, what is it about fashion that is of particular interest to you?
Maja: As a designer myself, fashion just comes natural to me - this is what I know. But I'm particularly interested in the unconventional side of fashion; everything that is not after the book.  I'm not a big fan of the word fashion and what it might imply - that something is 'in or out of fashion'. I'm more interested in people and how clothing can exaggerate their personality. Street fashion is always the most interesting, how people mix pieces together and create their own style. 

Both as a designer and illustrator I'm trying to do my own thing by designing zero-waste clothes and illustrating with my left hand even though I'm right handed. 

CP: Are there other artists or art forms that influence your work? If so, how do you interpret this inspiration? 
Maja: Yes, I love to look at other artists and get inspired. Two of my favorite artists are Howard Tangye and Egon Shiele because of their pen and the way they use color. The lines are so simple and the colors so scarce, which makes it really powerful. Their pictures are just alive and pure with a lot of emotions and this is what I'm striving for in my work as well; to convey human emotion.

I also draw a lot of inspiration from pictures and my absolute favorite photographer is Deborah Turbeville. I get totally lost in her pictures, they're so beautiful and fragile. I try to bring some of that mood into my illustrations.

CP: In a quick step-by-step how to, could you tell/show us how to sketch a basic illustration?
Maja: When I start to sketch an illustration it's often spontaneous - I feel drawn to draw because there's something that needs to get out. Whether if it's personal or commissioned, I need to get into that drive. As I'm drawing with my left hand it requires some courage. When I start a new drawing I have to be fearless, I can't think too much because then I'll mess it up. And that's what I love; the absolute surrender of not controlling, just flowing. So a basic illustration I normally have to do in one go to not get out of it.

CP: If you weren’t drawing, the next best thing would be?
Maja: There's so much I want to do! I'm already designing clothes as well so the next thing would be teaching, I think that would be wonderful and it's also something I plan to do in the future. I want to teach art and illustration, zero-waste fashion design and yoga.






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Russian artist Diana Kuksa caught my attention with her vivid Instagram feed of illustrated designer looks. From Jean Paul Gaultier to Marni, the composition of water color and ink accentuates each illustration, giving the illusory perspective of runway. In a brief q+a I learned her perspective on the designer|illustrator relationship and got an exclusive step-by-by illustration. 

Cocaine Pretti: There’s been a recent interest in fashion illustration and the interactive platform it provides, i.e. runway shows. Do you feel the relationship between illustrators and designers/publications will continue to develop? How?
DianaYes, I feel it, and it seems to me that illustrators and fashion designers becoming closer now. For example, I know that many fashion masons interested in resident illustrators, which is taking part in creation of the look-book, accompaning to the runway show, making portraits and commercial, and drawing back-stage. As for me, I had a great experience working as event illustrator at the opening party of Ritz Carlton Almaty and drawing back stage at two of TSUM's fashion shows ( TSUM is like "Russian Bergdorf Goodman"). It would be nice for me to create a look-book runway show! Imagine, instead of photos, live sketches only!

CPIllustrating editorial portraits stemming from fashion influence, what is it about fashion that is of particular interest to you?

DianaIt's too interesting for me ' cause I graduated from portrait studio of Russian Academy of painting sculpture and architecture, it's my profession! I have my own favorites among models. I'm in love with our Russian model Sasha Luss, she's amazing! She's done too many runway shows and look like an elegant fairy! And of course everybody loves Cara Delevingne, Lindsey Wixson and Saskia de Brauw.

CPAre there other artists or art forms that influence your work? If so, how do you interpret this inspiration? 

DianaI have a classic education so great painters and sculptors of are inspiring to me; Medieval Epoque, Art Nuevo, Symbolism, Modern, I have too many favorite painters! Among modern artist, I like Vania Zhuravlev and Damien Hirst with their black aesthetic. When I start to make fashion illustrations, I look through many authors, but the illustrator which I love the best is David Downton. He's really nice. Also I have two friends whose talent I admire. They are both fashion illustrators, it's Alena Lavdovskaya and Alexander Roschin. Their works are always exceeding all my expectations.

CPIn a quick step-by-step how to, could you tell/show us how to sketch a basic illustration?

DianaFirst of all you must have an idea on your mind, in accordance with it create your own mood board: pictures of clothes,models/ girls/boys, animals, flowers, whatever.Then doing several little sketches and bright watercolor spots, choose the better one and start drawing a composition by pencil: main proportion, features of character and details. After that, I usually take the ink or black watercolor and the sketch is done! It takes me about 1-1.5 hour, sometimes a little bit more. It should be fast, so the sketch will be more artistic and interesting with spots and flows.

CPIf you weren’t drawing, the next best thing would be?

DianaI think it would be another artistic profession, may be fashion designer, make-up artist, stylist or visual merchandiser. In my childhood I dreamed about the profession of a fashion designer. I have a little paper doll ( made by me, of course), and draw a lot of clothes for her wardrobe. I'm also working as window display designer and decorator. I can sculpt, create with paper, and make different things from anything to anywhere.

Here's a step-by-step illustration by Diana Kuksa.






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Based in Helenski, Finland, Satu Maaranen is a womenswear designer. Using traditional work wear shapes as a foundation for contrasting dramatic hats and sculpted silhouettes, the graduate collection showcased an aesthetic unique to Maaranen. Clever color distinctions implemented through brush strokes lapped various textures. 

What's interesting with Satu is the distinct use of art within her work. People often distinguish the two as separate entities, believing art is not fashion and fashion is not art. However, cohesively combining art with design in her graduate collection, it elaborates on both mediums.

Showing the new collection at Festival Hyeres 2014 and creating a capsule collection with Petit Bateau, we look forward to what's next. 

















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