A lot of people ask me where I find inspiration for my fashion illustrations. How do I come up with my poses or know where to put the shadow and highlights? Where do I find ideas for hair-dos, shoes, and fashion accessories? How do I know where to draw the folds of the fabric on coats and long skirts? Well, I simply copy reality.
In order to copy reality I need something to look at. Traditionally artists drew from live models, as many of us still do in art school. Sometimes I come across live model drawing courses that are available to the general public, but most of the time I need something to look at while I’m working on a project in my studio. For years I relied on clothing catalogs to help me with poses and shapes. Catalogs normally present their wares on a model in a way that is easy to see the garments. This is why they tend to be more useful than the moody, artsy, fashion magazine spreads. But recently I’ve found a new place get inspiration: the internet. Street style and street fashion blogs are the absolute best place to find fabulous, full body photos of men and women in fashionable clothing. Here is a list of the best street style blogs for fashion illustration inspiration.
My Favorite Street Style Blogs
Vanessa Jackman is a European photographer who shares her love of fashion on her blog. It ‘s filled with beautiful, crisp, photographs of the movers and shakers of the fashion world. Although she shoots the stylists and editors her favorite subject are fashion models. Usually she shoots them in their every day attire as the flit between photo shoots and runway shows. Hers is the most helpful of all my favorite street style blogs because she shows each outfit with several photos, allowing me to understand how each piece of clothing is sitting on the body. More importantly, models know how to pose, and their long, slim proportions are perfect for fashion illustration. I based this illustration on a photo from her blog.
All the Pretty Birds is the street style blog of the talented photographer Tamu McPherson. She lives in Milan and most of her subjects have that Italian flair, but she also goes to all the fashion shows all over Europe, and sometimes the USA as well. One of my favorite aspects of her blog is that she photographs people in groups and pairs, which is great if I want to draw a group and need to see how two or more figures interrelate. This sketch was inspired by one of her photographs.
Street Style Aesthetic a.k.a. Wayne Tippets Photography is a street fashion blog based in England. Most of his subjects are regular people on the streets of London, but he also goes to the shows. He features both men and women on his beautifully photographed blog.
Lee Olivera is a fashion photographer based in Australia. He also shoots both men and women, and also likes to focus on the details in an outfit, like great shoes or a beautiful trim.
I suppose a post on the best street style blogs would be missing something if it didn’t mention The Sartorialist. Possibly one of the most famous fashion bloggers ever, he is based in Manhattan, and tends to feature regular New Yorkers. He also likes to shoot women and men on bicycles. I used one of his photographs for inspiration in this fashion illustration.
Style From Tokyo is my newest find in the world of street style blogs. Clearly its set in Japan. The clothes are really fun, and entirely different in feel from the European blogs.
There they are! The best street style blogs for fashion illustration inspiration. Do you have any more to suggest?