Raphael Vicenzi – fashion illustrator


Raphael Vicenzi is a self-taught illustrator from Brussels, Belgium. He has a very interesting style and technique, especially with his lines and colors. He includes an element of fashion in his illustrations and this lends a unique sense of appeal to his work. His illustrations are an inspiration and it was a pleasure to know more about him and his work.

how he got started and where he did his training:

It was by mistake and I am self-taught. I thought I would be a graphic designer or web designer but it wasn’t my cup of tea. I realized that I was doing illustration instead and I kept doing just that. I am a late bloomer. Honestly, I never thought I would make it, there were times where I wanted to give it all up because I wasn’t that good. I am still learning.

work as an illustrator – daily life?

Well I live a pretty boring life but I like it. I wake up early and after a while I start to work on commissions or personal illustrations. I am constantly working, even if I am not on the computer, my mind is geared towards finding a new idea or seeing colours and patterns everywhere.

What tools/techniques he  use’s  in creating your illustrations?

I scan a lot of watercolours, doodles, textures and then I work the whole in PS, with very few effects, PS brushes, masks, layer modes and that’s nearly it. I found that by limiting myself in this way I could work better and just try to get to the core of an idea. I admire people who possess great painting techniques though.

 moments of:

struggle or  difficulty in coming up with a concept?

Sometimes it’s more that I have all these ideas but I can’t pull them out of my head in a nice way. The more I struggle to do something within a strict deadline the less it will be natural and it will feel forced. That does not mean that there is no hard work before but there is a tipping point where it all comes together. I don’t cope well with the creative block, I just clench my teeth until it’s over.

his role of fashion in his drawings?  important element in his work?

I don’t know, it just made sense to me to use the fashion imagery and turn it into something else. I do appreciate how some fashion designers and photographers pay attention to details and create something really unique, despite that there are a lot of things that are really terrible in the fashion industry, especially how it impacts younger girls in making them believe that it’s the only ideal for femininity. I guess I had to take it all back somehow, put glitter and bones where they belong and give it a new more personal and intimate meaning.

how he formed his signature style?

Step by step and very slowly but I was not aware of it. I don’t even really think that I have a signature style because to me it always evolves but within certain constrains. I think it all comes down to assimilate influences and making them mine somehow.

his Inspirations:

A lot, I’ll name a few, Tom Bagshaw, Banksy, Daniel Egneus, Stina Persson, David Foldvari, Muscha and on and on…


Fashion Illustration – Nadia Flower

Nadia Flower - Watercolour/Mixed

Nadia Flower – Nylon Magazine

Nadia Flower’s beautiful illustration work is defined by the fragile, delicate, yet graphic & strong elements exhibited in each of her artworks. The combination of hand-drawn & computer-based imagery are key components to her work. Nadia works across a variety of mediums combining hand-drawn & computer-based imagery; from fine art painting to fashion & textile, as well as pure illustration for the editorial & advertising markets.

Residing in New Zealand, Nadia offers her creativity to clients all around the world; incorporating vector work, watercolour & even type design. She has appeared in group exhibitions & book publications in Australia, Tokyo & the United States. Her illustrations are playful, sensual & almost illusive, as they exist in the space where dreams, fantasies & fashion collide.

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Nadia has recently completed a commission for ASOS.com in which she illustrated a variety of perfume bottles & her interpretation of their scents emerging from the bottles. She was given complete freedom which allowed her to express her creative talents to the fullest. Furthermore she has released her own stationery range in New Zealand.

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VOGUE CHINA:  Nadia decorated a piece in the magazine to illustrate the floral dresses trend at the time.

GHD:  Nadia designed packaging for a set of Limited Edition black & white gloss stylers. The white pack featured an assortment of “pure” elements (angels, stars & flowers), whereas the accompanying pack featured an assortment of “dark” elements (devils, snakes & serpents).

BOURJOIS: Nadia’s graphics were commissioned by wonder agency Talents Only in Paris. The illustrations for the Bourjois advertising campaign were displayed in pages of the magazine & at points of sale within stores.

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Clients of Nadia Flower include:
–  ASOS.com (UK)
–  Lily Allen/BBC (UK)
–  Fornarina (IT)
–  Nylon magazine
–  GHD hair straighteners
–  Coca-Cola (UK)
–  Glamour magazine (UK)
–  Saatchi & Saatchi (AUS)
–  Marie Claire (UK)
–  Katharine Hamnett (UK)
–  Yen magazine (AUS)
–  Graniph (Japan)
–  Waitrose (UK)
–  David Jones (AUS)
–  Daily Telegraph
–  Zoe and Morgan

Information Sources:
–  Nadia Flower – Advertisements & Marketing
–  Interview with Nadia Flower
–  Nadia Flower – Facebook
–  Nadia Flower – Client List & Contact Details
–  Nadia Flower – Online Store

Fashion Illustration- Anna Wintour

 ‘You either know fashion or you don’t ‘ – Anna Wintour

A legend in her own right, even if you know nothing about fashion, or have never read VOGUE or even heard of it… ( is that even possible?)   Chances are, you’ve heard of Anna Wintour. She is one of the most famous Editors in Chief around. Fashion designers literally beg her to sit front row at their shows.  Known for always being 10 minutes early, which is unheard of in the fashion industry, especially for someone with her status, ‘The Queen of Fashion’ is one that she has earned, and will stay with her for life.


Born in London, her father was the editor of the London Evening Standard, and was known as ‘Chilly Charlie’. It seams Anna followed suit, becoming an editor and quite ‘chilly’ herself.

“Growing up in London in the ’60s, you’d have to have had Irving Penn’s sack over your head not to know something extraordinary was happening in fashion”, she recalled.

She dropped out of school and spent her youth in night clubs rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Rolling Stone and the Beatles, and it has been said that she spent a week behind closed doors with Bob Marley.  This lady would have some stories.  Having her own unique style, she pushed the boundary as a teenager, cutting her hair to the signature bob, which she still rocks to this day.


Her fashion shoots are legendary. She was one of the first to mix high street fashion with high end designers and would spend thousands on traveling to exotic locations to get the perfect shot, only to decide she doesn’t like it.


The streets of London are where she found her inspiration. She moved to New York in her early 20’s where she worked for many magazines until she made her way to Vogue, where she has been the Chief Editor since 1988. She revived the publication and became one of the most influential figures in the fashion industry. She influences fashion.  Rumors of retirement are constantly swirling, but I don’t think Mrs Wintour will be leaving her throne any time soon.









Post 3 – Rene Gruau

René Gruau (4th February 1909 – 31st March 2004) was part of the change in the fashion industry through art that represented the designs created by designers in the industry.  His career began in the 1940’s and lasted seven decades.  Even after the camera took over, Gruau still was requested for work as his artwork captured the moment unlike any photo could.

Gruau lady hat     Gruau lady ribbon

Gruau was one of the favorites of the haute couture world during the 1940’s and 1950’s working with an array of “high-style” magazines.  He later became the favourite for fashion houses Christian Dior, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Lanvin, Hermes, Givenchy and many more.  Many of Gruau’s artworks are hung in Paris and Italy’s art museums and numerous galleries hold exhibitions of his work throughout the world.  His creativity and skill of being able to express his image and message with simple brush strokes and blocks of colour was pure genius.  He used the negative space in his images so effortlessly.

Gruau lady lying

Gruau’s artwork is timeless and it has been said Gruau is regarded as the father of modern advertising.

Gruau CD

“René GRUAU loved women. With great humour, he defines Glamour and Sensuality by revealing the feminine universe – made of luxury, frivolity, futility and narcissism – as the most natural thing in the world…” (http://www.renegruau.com/en/kiss-2/)

Gruau lady sitting








Laura Laine is a Helsinki based illustrator.

Born in Finland in 1983.

She studied fashion design at the University of Art & Design Helsinki and

after completing her studies became a full-time freelance illustrator & teacher.


Her charming ethereal illustrations are predominantly hand drawn in black and white giving them a dark but hauntingly beautiful feeling.

They have an eccentric flavour, with burtonesque figures in twisted body positions that give a sense of motion with their flowing tendrils of lavish hair.


The detailed fine work is achieved by using a combination of pencils, inks & markers and the final touches are applied in photoshop.


Laura Laine has created many drawings for magazine advertisements such as:

GQ, Elle girl, The New Yorker, NY times magazine, Pap magazine, The Guardian, Vogue Japan & Germany, Sephora and some of clients include: Zara, Tommy Hilfiger, H & M, Iben Hoej, Daniel Palillo, and Escada.

Laura has also exhibited in London, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles & Helsinki.


To sum up how she describes her own style:

“My drawing style is something I’m not so conscious about, I just do what I feel like at the moment.’”

“For me the most important ingredient for being a fashion illustrator is a sense of wonder.”









Fashion Illustration-Kareem Iliya-Jo Lorenz

Although born on Lebanon he moved to Texas in 1967 where he studied Fashion Design at the University of Texas, he then moved to New York so he could further his studies at the New York Institute for Fashion.

His Career in fashion began in 1992 working for Giorgio Armani. He then also moved in to freelance work as a fashion illustrator.

His work has featured in Mademoiselle, Metropolitan Home, Illustrator, The New Yorker, Visionaire, Harpers Bazaar, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, various editions of Vogue and W Magazine which is said to be one of the high lights of his career.

His freelance advertizing clients have included such names as Louis Vuitton, Tiffany and Co, Marriot, Perrier-Jouet, Bergdorf Goodman, Neiman Marcus, Barneys NY, H&M, Bloomingdales, Moncler, Saks Fifth Ave, Johnson & Johnson, Nike, Fendi, Shisseido, Adidas and The Waldorf.

He has worked with several advertising agencies.

He has illustrated the covers for several book some fiction like ‘The Beautiful and The Damned’ by F Scott Fitzgerald.

And others relating to fashion design and illustration like Fashion Illustrator: Drawing and Presentation for the Fashion Designer by Morris (Abrams Studio ).

His work has also featured in: The Beautiful: Illustrations for Fashion and Design, Illusive Contemporary Designs Part 3,   100 years of Fashion Illustrations, Illustration Now Vol 2, Wonderland, Fashion Images De Mode No.6, Stylish Drawing, Lingerie: A Lexicon of Design, Fashion Illustration Now, Shoes: A Lexicon of Style and more.

His medium is watercolour and inks on paper. Kareem Iliya’s images are hauntingly full of grace and mystery.  For him, a successful fashion illustration is an image which grabs your attention and holds it, making you wish for more.

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Post 3: Hiroshi Tanabe – Fashion Illustrator

 Hiroshi Tanabe 



Check out this great video link….. http://vimeo.com/39008156

            Hiroshi Tanabe was born in Kanagawa, Japan.

After graduating with a degree in Graphic Design, Tanabe went to Milan study Fine Arts and Sculpture. While in Italy he came to focus more on illustrations.

Hiroshi’s illustrations are both unique and vibrant, they reflect the graphic clean line work of the traditional Japanese woodcuts. The effect he achieves is a combination of old-world beauty with a modernity unparalleled in fashion and beauty illustration today.


Hiroshi’s illustrations are held in public and private collections including NY society of illustrators, American Illustration, Communication Arts, and The Society of Publication Designers and Print. His work was selected for Lurzers Archive’s Premier Commercial Illustration Annual 1999. In 1994 he earned world acclaimed British Vogues esteemed Vogue/Sotheby’s Beaton Award for Fashion Illustration.


Also having published two books of his works, the first being the award winning “Blue Mode”in 1998, then “#2″in 2003. He was able to for once fully express himself 100%  in personal workwithout the constraints of theme, concept or category.

        Hiroshi Tanabe keeps a busy schedule now, with commissions from clients including Stussy, Anna Sui, Shiseido, GAP, Brithish Vogue, Sony,The New York Times, The New Yorker, Le Sportsac, Harpers Bazaar and Rolling Stone to name a few.