Meder has been a quiet force on Toronto’s fashion scene since graduating from Ryerson in 2006. She initiated the monthly blogger brunch series that bonded the city’s dot com style writers. Many of her blogging buddies and other fashion pros now carry Moo business cards featuring her illustrated figures celebrating their personal style and wardrobe signatures. She also cooks up a pretty tasty cookie party.
“I called my graduate collection ‘Final Fashion - The Last Collection’, so I guess I was demonstrating some kind of ambivalence about being a fashion designer,” says Meder and to that end she’s decided to launch herself into the world of editorial illustration.
It’s a world that’s increasingly appealing to fashion marketers. Photography was supposed to have killed the illustrating star but designers and retailers are embracing the medium to set their images apart from the glossy picture pack.
It’s also a world that has a long tradition in Canada. One of my favourite sections of ROM costume curator Alexandra Palmer’s Fashion: A Canadian Perspective (Oxford) book is its centre spread of vintage, illustrated Eaton’s ads from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. In 2006, I asked legendary Canadian designer Marilyn Brooks to recreate one of the ads for a fundraiser and discovered her extensive body of drawings. Since her retirement, Marilyn has focused on illustrating and has a permanent front row seat at every Toronto Fashion Week where she puts pencil to paper.
If I’ve piqued your interest in drawing fashion, here are a few resources to help you get started:
TorontoStreetFashion.com turned me on to New York’s 3x3 magazine which covers all forms of contemporary illustration. Their site includes an inspiring New Talent Gallery (both Sara Tyson’s cast of Picasso-ed pooches and Bella Pilar’s long legged fashion sprites are perfect for 2008’s surrealist mood). They are currently running a competition for student and professional illustrators with mid-February and mid-March deadlines.
100 Years of Fashion Illustration (Laurence King) profiles artists from Paul Iribe to the collage and multimedia illustrators popular today.
Locally, there’s Dr. Sketchy’s, a life drawing class at the Cameron House (408 Queen West) which focuses on unconventional figure models (Lena Love and Christabel have posed in the past) and chic-to-cheeky costumes.