Paris Fashion Week FW15 live runway sketching portfolio

fashion shows,live drawing,Paris — Danielle on March 24, 2015 at 12:21 pm

Anrealage FW15 1

Being back in Paris was amazing. I was coming off of three weeks in London, including fashion week and a lot of social adventurism. I was exhausted but still excited. I ‘hit the ground running’, as they say, after arriving on a much-delayed Eurostar (and getting a social media literacy lesson from the BBC), picked up my mail from my Paris bestie Eliza, just a bit too late to catch the first couple shows.

My first show wasn’t my best game, the sketches looked pale and weak. But the second show, Anrealage (below and above), was incredible. Black black clothing on models painted black, wearing weird helmets that looked like alien mega-brains. And spotlights would flash on the fabrics and reveal all these colours and patterns. It was very theatrical, technical and evocative. I was a bit stymied at first to how I would sketch it, but I was inspired so it worked out!

Anrealage FW15 2

I happened to sit beside an editor and an illustrator for DASH magazine. So this was the other illustrator I had heard of at London Fashion Week! Her name is Megan. She has been doing this for one year with a kind of fearless confidence I don’t recall having at year one. Very open and friendly to me too, a sister in live runway sketching. We ended up having nearly similar schedules, attending most of the same shows. Her presence was an interesting aspect of the week. On one hand, when I see her work I see the way I used to draw, and feel amazed at how much I’ve changed. It’s fascinating to see how differently two artists can see the same show. And yet, we’re both at the same level of access. Eight years in and I’m not really that much further inside than I was at year one. And so I felt a bit stymied, too.

sharon wauchob FW15 1 on paper

At Sharon Wauchob I stood beside a mirror. The girls had pressed flat hair and wore lots of lace and fur. I’d decided during that show that my tactic with Paper this week would be to take advantage of changing the background. Imagine having every colour of paper at your disposal, on the iPad it’s possible!

sharon wauchob FW15 2 on paper

Then came a show called Aganovich. This show was incredibly easy to draw, with dramatic white collars and skirts swagged over the hip, over the arm, hands in pockets. Three quick takes:

aganovich FW15 1 on paper aganovich FW15 2 on paper aganovich FW15 3 on paper

Megan showed me how the shuttle bus works and we went over to Alexis Mabille. This was one of those shows in a series of salons, where the models walk very slowly. Somehow that seems more of a challenge than when the models are racing by.

Alexis Mabille FW15 1

I sat behind Megan who was chatting to all of the ladies. I can see her outgoing quality in her drawings, although I never remembered to watch her draw, or maybe it seems rude. Somehow I’m less talkative when I’m in the drawing mindset. I had a conversation with a friend who is a photographer earlier in the week, we were talking about competition, and how we would answer the question “is your field competitive”. They said they would say no, just to be politic, though of course they didn’t believe that, of course photography is competitive. For the drawing game, I would have to say yes, I think it is competitive. It’s good that other artists are there to push me harder. And I do want my portfolio to be the best, I have to try!

The Alexis Mabille girls wore ombre knit toques with eighties shoulder pads and lots of grey.

Alexis Mabille FW15 2

Every day Eliza got more mail for me, so I’d bring over some pastries for her and do my daily Snoopy dance.

A.F. Vandevorst was the most unusual show, an installation of several salons shrouded in plastic. We were given face masks and footwear covers on entering. In one room there was a live band playing, wearing all black, and getting painted with white paint.

af vandevorst FW15 1 on paper

Some of the models seemed to have been touched by the paint too, like this one’s ankles.

af vandevorst FW15 2 on paper

I did a watercolour too. Under the hot lights it dried fast. The beauty was very graphic with the black face masks, dramatic brows and centre parted hair. The clothes were wonderfully twisted versions of classic garments. This was a favourite show this season.

AF Vandevorst FW15

It was my second chance to attend an Issey Miyake show. The invitation was amazing – like a map of Paris, all folded up. I chose a look with a lot of colours… it took me almost the whole show to draw. Woops.

Issey Miyake FW15

By now I think I had reached a saturation point. I had to take a break in the middle of fashion week to work on my column for the Globe Style Advisor. Once I came back it was more difficult to summon the same urgency. I was distracted by a bunch of other things – health, personal, work – and I was getting run down. I lost appetite for everything, becoming skinnier and bitchier by the day. 11 days is a long stretch for attending fashion shows, even with a break. And this portfolio doesn’t even include every show I attended.

Agnes B FW15 1

These sketches are from agnes b. – and actually there is a spareness that the fatigue allows.

Agnes B FW15 2

The last show I was able to summon heat and energy for was Valentin Yudashkin. Rich, rich Russian girls with flat-ironed hair. I just kept chanting under my breath – rich girls, rich girls, rich girls. And it worked, this one excellent sketch came out.

Valentin Yudashkin FW15

There’s this argument I was having inside of myself at this point that made that mantra more meaningful – whether I have to play the rich girl game. Holding out for prestige projects. As an independent artist, I have to make less glamorous choices, because I need to be able to pay my rent and support myself, plus fund my wanderlust and ambition. The game of appearances isn’t so easily played when you’re self-funded. The truth is, that I want to be recognized and have access. And I want it to be on the merit of my work, ideally! So how can I be snobby enough to impress the gatekeepers but accessible enough that I can afford to be that snobby? Is doing good work enough, or is the work not good enough yet? I don’t know, that’s what I’m trying to figure out.

Masha Ma FW15

I have to do everything I do for myself. I don’t have an agent or a boss. I have just a couple of advisors, and sometimes I seek advice. One of the best, who I was lucky to sit next to at the Masha Ma show (sketch above), is Professor Valerie Steele, who assured me that she’s a one woman show and I can be too. And to negotiate for myself and trust my own judgement. One thing I’ve realized about advice – where it comes from matters just as much as what it is.

YDE FW15 1

By the last show, YDE, only a small but determined group of European fashion show attendees were left. Everyone’s face looked a little bit familiar. Megan sat by the door so she could run to the Eurostar right after – I found it admirable that she and I were both seeing this thing through to the very end, although by that point it felt quite #DGAFW. I felt like I was drawing in slow motion. This one redheaded model was especially vivid, I drew her in every outfit she wore. I was thinking, every time I draw an expressionless model mouth, it seems to smile slightly, why is that?

London Fashion Week FW15 live runway sketching portfolio

fashion shows,live drawing,London — Danielle on February 26, 2015 at 9:39 am

Bora Aksu FW15

One of this London Fashion Week’s first sketches, on Paper, of a Bora Aksu beauty in the colour of the season, the background colour was a happy accident, and it’s just wonderful, one of my favourite drawings I’ve ever done. London, I love you.

To clarify, since I am often asked – all of these sketches are made live, on site at the fashion shows, and I do not touch them after the show.

After Spring 2015 in New York, I was feeling burnt out. My confidence was shaken at the start of that week when I lost a couple of gigs. I was left wondering if it was worth keeping up with this live runway sketching trip I’ve been on for so many seasons now. There are so many young kids bringing brushes to the shows now, some of them very good (shout out to Mara Cespon, who can draw circles around me), and getting access and standing out seemed to be getting more difficult, not easier. After four seasons in New York, I felt uninspired and my last portfolio seemed flat to me, even if it did have a couple highlights. I fantasized about switching it up and going to find a new type of subject in Los Angeles.

All that drama and worry really meant nothing at all. After coming home broke from New York, I had a deluge of deadlines and event sketching gigs, I became a columnist at The Globe and Mail, and my 2014 did a complete 180, turning into the most financially successful year of my career. Suddenly I didn’t have to face going back to New York – it was finally possible to do something I’d been dreaming about ever since I left Europe – go back to Europe.

After all, I’ve promised myself I’d give 10 years of my life to this fashion illustration thing and see how far I could go with it. With only two years left to go, I’m in too deep to quit. So I bought a ticket to London – and a ticket to Paris. And here I am, back at London Fashion Week, golden Pencil in hand like a talisman.

I’m focusing on my own happiness in drawing. I’ve been practicing meditation and am applying that practice to my work – I’m letting go of all my fears and anxieties. Allowing myself to be a conduit of inspiration, and to just BE at fashion week. Even though fashion week is probably the least likely, most distracting of all possible meditation spaces, I’m treating the runway like a shrine, and beauty is my mantra.

Jean-Pierre Braganza FW15 2

At Jean-Pierre Braganza, I was given the real opportunity to show what I can do – a front row seat at the end of the aisle, under the protective view of a sympathetic security guard. Given every advantage, I was able to surprise myself with three beautiful sketches done in succession, even though it was my first show using watercolour, it wasn’t stiff at all. It helps a lot that Braganza has a total vision – the eyeliner, the music, everything emerges from his imagination to create a gorgeous world that is a pleasure to get lost in, even if only for a few precious minutes.

Jean-Pierre Braganza FW15 1

Someone captured me in action at this show, and I’m bopping to the music. I’m totally lost in beauty and have no awareness of how silly I might look. Somehow that’s exactly right – it’s the best way to be when you’re creating.

Jean-Pierre Braganza FW15 3

I lost that feeling a bit at Jasper Conran. I had a coughing fit just before the show – of course it’s never a good time to be sick and fashion week definitely isn’t it. I was in rough shape. And then I saw two godfathers of fashion illustration – David Downton and Colin McDowell – and I felt compelled to approach them while I could, as they’ve both encouraged me on separate occasions in the past. They both said they’d want to see my work after the show, and I felt less relaxed, more nervous – I only got one good sketch, and even then I can sense a loss of belief as my brush headed towards the toe. Needless to say, I didn’t run after them to show off afterwards. It’s not about fairy godfathers, not this week.

Jasper Conran FW15

See that purple? It’s everywhere this season, it really is the colour of the season. Aubergine. There’s a girly gothiness in the air for fall.

Anna Freemantle at Pringle of Scotland

The biggest ticket I got this week was Pringle of Scotland. It was a small, out-of-the-way venue in Hyde Park and there were just a handful of standing tickets, of which I was one. When I have to stand, I sketch on the iPad. Before the show I was across from the faces of the fall campaign, Stella Tennant and Anna Freemantle, the latter I sketched above. Two beautiful, distinctive, mature models. Below, I managed to render a look that epitomizes the new shape of the season – a long, below-the-knee shape, narrow at the shoulder.

Pringle of Scotland fw15

On Tuesday, the last day, I had my first ever access to the Topshop space at Tate Britain – somehow I’ve never scored a ticket to this venue before – for Michael van der Ham. This first sketch of a fur-trimmed gown somehow hints at the collage of textures and colours that are van der Ham’s signature.

Michael van der Ham 2

This last sketch was the winner, once again in the colour of the season – a romantic deep purple dress with white appliques.

Michael van der Ham 1

Also at the very grand Topshop space was Ashish, which I was looking forward to. I had seized a bit of floor at an aisle, but just before the show was scooped up and seated by a PR girl, and the result was I lost the entire lower half of the show. I missed out on the major accessory totally – had no idea that the girls were in over-the-knee red pleather boots which would have resulted in very different sketches.

Ashish 1

Instead I had to focus on hair and beauty which was perfectly imperfect, vari-coloured to like the varicoloured furs they wore, studded with sparkles, red red lips, and hoop earrings. Ashish has a wonderful attitude that is young and smart and bad-in-the-best-way – even though I was stymied by a poor position to view the show, the attitude still comes through.

Ashish 2

The final show of the season was a much anticipated return to the runway by Hakaan Yildirim. Standing in line I met some fellow fashion illustrators – recent graduates who weren’t sketching live – and talked shop a bit. Once inside I found a great place to stand and said hello to my old protector, the same security guard I met at the beginning of the week. He mentioned he’d seen a competitor of mine… I wonder who she is.

H by Hakaan Yildirim fw15 2

In any case, Yildirim’s girls were covered up and tied at the neck, simple chignons offsetting some complex surface details. The final drawing of this week’s portfolio was a big green coat adorned with big black Xs.

H by Hakaan Yildirim fw15 1

And that’s it for London Fashion Week… it ended up being one of my favourite-ever live runway portfolios. Thanks to everyone who helped me with access and all the designers and models who inspired me. I’ve never felt more ready to go to Paris… this season has just begun.

XXXXX

in London feb 2015

contributing to The Globe and Mail

blogging,illustration,portfolio,writing — Danielle on November 3, 2014 at 2:45 pm

fashion blogger angel glitched

There are a lot of meta-layers to this post, so thank you for bearing with so much preciousness. Many people were interested in the funeral for fashion blogs that happened in New York. It was an event I held playfully. I never seriously considered deleting my blog – it’s a body of work I’m proud of and I value the independent space to share whatever I want to share, whenever I feel like it. That said, the era of regular updates is definitely over, and fashion blogging will never be what it once was. So, when the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail asked me to expand upon the story of the funeral, it was an opportunity to dig deeper on a shallow subject – and the story itself ended up being quite existential.

Writing a version of the “fashion blogs are dead” media cliche that wouldn’t also make me die of embarrassment was quite a challenge – and I think I succeeded. I’ve been so touched by the thoughtful responses to the piece.

I was also asked to contribute a set of four illustrations to go with the story. I had the idea of “glitching” the drawings to evoke digital decay. The editors decided to go with the non-glitched versions – still, I’m pleased with the glitched versions and am glad I can share them here. Which literally illustrates what is so special about having your own space on the internet.

1 finding a friend glitched

I’m honoured to work with the style editors and art directors at The Globe and Mail – heartfelt thanks to Andrew Sardone, Carley Fortune, and Bryan Gee. In addition to this past weekend’s story, I’ve also been drawing and writing for the back page of the Style Advisor magazine. To have a very prestigious, visible place to share my work is a tremendous opportunity. I don’t know how long this gig will go on for. No matter what, I’m grateful for every page. For a fashion illustrator/writer to have a recurring column at a publication is a highly unusual thing.

style advisor back pages

As a blogger by habit, I’m not used to being edited. It’s a fascinating process. My role as an artist is to uphold the integrity of my vision. My editors understand where I’m coming from, and their job is to make sure the readers can find a way to connect with me. I remember reading the Globe Style section as a young fashion student and feeling alienated from the columnists who were clearly writing for a very different demographic – a demographic those writers seemed to be part of. I never imagined I’d one day be on these pages too. With that in mind I’m making an effort to voice atypical fashion ideas – and occasionally I do find the edges of what’s acceptable. My editors make my weird ideas relatable to a broad audience in a way that still feels true to me. Which shows how amazing my editors are.

 

2 marie antoinette glitched

As for Final Fashion, it will still exist, however I will no longer create ‘blog posts’ as I used to. I’ll update it occasionally to feature whatever I’m working on, so it will continue to function as a portfolio. However, updates will be infrequent. I’ll also no longer do my ‘click click’ link roundups. Instead, please follow me on Twitter and Tumblr where I’ll continue to share what I consider worth clicking on the internet as I come across it. My Delicious account is also a catch-all for that type of stuff. My Facebook is a free-for-all, so feel free to add me. And I’m an occasional Instagrammer too, if you want peek through a little square into my world.

3 jeffrey campbell lita glitched

How lucky I am to have been part of this fashion blogging phenomenon for a full trend cycle, from beginning to end. Sharing my words and drawings with you is my greatest joy. To everyone who has ever visited Final Fashion, linked to it, commented on it, and found something useful or delightful here, thank you!

 

in residence at The Drake Hotel on October 9

events,toronto — Danielle on October 5, 2014 at 2:11 pm

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I share a studio with a lovely group of artists, and some of us are going to be in residence at The Drake Lab at 1140 Queen Street West until October 16. On Saturday, Oliver Pauk and Michael Vickers covered the space in foil (like Warhol’s factory!) so it’s a shared studio for creating collaborative art, open to the public. I’m going to be there on October 9, and I’d like to attempt a little tribute to the lively environment of Antonio’s studio.

Anyone is invited to come and hang out with me while I work. I’ll be doing large, spontaneous style portraits all day. If you’ve ever wanted to be drawn by me, here’s your chance!

Thursday October 9 2014 11am to 7pm

Drake Lab 1140 Queen Street West Toronto

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If you’re curious about Antonio’s studio, this Times article will help you imagine it.

artwork for Andrew Majtenyi

illustration,portfolio — Danielle on October 3, 2014 at 4:33 pm

andrew majtenyi 1

If you visit the Andrew Majtenyi boutique at 793 Queen Street West in Toronto, you can see three original mixed media drawings that I created inspired by the designer’s industrial, tailored work.

andrew majtenyi 2

It’s a rare treat to see my illustrations treated so finely, framed so beautifully. My snapshots do it no justice. Check it out at 793 Queen Street West, for a limited time.

andrew majtenyi 3

I executed each of these on entire sheets of Arches paper – the framing displays the paper to the raw edge, which exhibits the care I put into the work.

NYFW SS15 live runway sketching portfolio

fashion shows,illustration,live drawing,New York — Danielle on September 23, 2014 at 1:38 pm

I went into this New York Fashion Week with such certainty that this season was My Season! I had two gigs lined up for Well Known Clients. Knowing that I was going into this fashion week being paid for a change, I was feeling cocky.

Then in a twist that should not have surprised me at all, both jobs fell through. Not because I Suck and No One Wants Me (although that’s what it felt like at the time), but just because flaking out during fashion week is as basic as black. A huge part of my job is processing disappointment when projects don’t work out. And I guess I go into every fashion week with high hopes, it’s all part of psyching myself up for the massive outlay of energy and cash it takes to get me there, so I was crushed. Usually I cry after fashion week – this time I cried before. Which completely skewed the mood of the whole endeavour.

In any case, the shows were happening and I was there anyway, so I threw out a bunch of last minute requests and got on with it.

BCBGmaxazria 1

BCBGMAXAZRIA was the first show and I was watercolour-ready, but the house lights never went up. So I sketched it on the iPad using Paper – really the perfect solution for live-sketching low-light situations. The mood was Lana Del Rey dusty rose, with fluttering ruffles.

BCBGmaxazria 2

The first show I watercoloured was Meden. Very clean lines of a blue-lined white coat presented an ideal sketch opportunity.

Meden 1 lo
I decided that this season was going to be a bit more about selecting subjects based on the composition they provided – not every look is equal when it comes to illustration.

costello tagliapietra 1
The other thing I wanted to attempt was to recapture some of the accident and awkwardness of my earlier portfolios. I also tried to play with the scale, doing more “beauty” illustrations focusing on the models faces. This one at Costello Tagliapietra pleases me even though it’s overworked. That show was an oasis on a brutally hot day. I had never successfully gotten into a show at MADE before, and the angels at People’s Revolution made it happen. The inside of Milk Studios was cool and the air was scented with something sweet and comforting. It gave me some hope back.

Son Jung Wan 3 lo
There was a kimono effect to the sleeves at TOME, and bright pinks.

Carmen Marc Valvo 2 lo

The hair at Carmen Marc Valvo was captivating for me – a low, braided side bun with a sweeping bang across the other side – it looked great from both sides.

carmen marc valvo

The gorgeous feminine dresses at Carmen Marc Valvo just cried out for a Rene Gruau style flourish. I feel like this was the single most successful sketch of the season.

misha nonoo beauty

I did a bit of backstage sketching at Misha Nonoo who very kindly offered me access – though grabbing drawings backstage is not easy. This model had a piquant, distinctive profile. I met my friend Odessa at that show and she very kindly shared her seat assignment (lucky BB1!) with me. However, it was bench seating and someone squeezed in on my right which meant I couldn’t quite achieve the freedom of movement required for successful runway sketches. It’s too bad because I liked the collection and they had been so sweet about access.

william okpo 1

My luck changed that afternoon at William Okpo – it took place in a gymnasium, and there was more than enough elbow room in a pit party that consisted of one photographer, one videographer, and me. The clothes were also brilliantly brief and styled with amazing hair.

william okpo 2

Most of the models had darker skintones with white eye makeup which allowed me the opportunity to try a new way of rendering skin tone that worked out GREAT. This show was such a delight to sketch, it was the highlight of my fashion week.

william okpo 3

I had a fan in the crowd of Nicole Miller who helped me get a place to sketch, little acts of kindness mean so much. I could only see the top half of the outfits so that’s what I drew.

Nicole Miller 1

These two sketches both captured Nicole Miller show very well. At this point in the week I felt I had found my groove.

Nicole Miller 2 lo
Son Jung Wan had a lot of sparkles – and I had a sparkly pen – unfortunately sparkles don’t scan well.

Son Jung Wan 1

I had started to look at the negative space around the models more, especially when the models and their clothes are white.

Son Jung Wan 2 lo
Luis Antonio I had no seat, so I sketched with Paper again. The prints looked like pen scribbles, so it was the better choice of media.

luis antonio 1

Figuring out how to use the smudge feature judiciously… it’s something that requires a lighter touch.

luis antonio 2

I had been invited by Brandon Graham of Would You Rock This? to attend an unusual event. CZAR by Cesar Galindo was doing a presentation where about a dozen fashion illustrators would be stationed around the models, sketching.

Cesar Galindo 1 lo

At first, I was unsure I wanted to be in a situation where I was surrounded by others doing the same thing. I’m not a joiner by nature, and the trendiness of live runway sketching gives me mixed feelings. But of course I was curious to see what it was like and see the other illustrators – a mix of young guns I’ve seen at shows before and some older pros. One of the older illustrators told me it was her first fashion show.

Cesar Galindo 2 lo

I had much more time to play around and this negative space sketch I think turned out pretty well.

Cesar Galindo 3 lo

I also did a much bigger beauty sketch for a change.

Cesar Galindo 4 lo
It was an interesting experience to be among so many other artists. They were all great, inspiring with different visions of the same show. But I don’t think I’ll ever do a scene like that again.

Nanette Lepore SS15
I did this one at Nanette Lepore. By this time I had lost my groove somewhat and struggled to keep my spirits in the game. I was beginning to lose faith. I still managed to pull out a few decent sketches, but I can see the loss of urgency cast a shadow over the second half of the portfolio.

Taoray Wang 1 lo
Another negative space sketch at Taoray Wang captured the feathery outline of the skirt.

karen walker 1

Standing at Karen Walker I got my best Paper sketches of the season. Even though I was feeling distracted and antsy – I was dealing with an unexpected personal issue unrelated to fashion – maybe the distraction helped in that situation. Certainly the high quality of the show helped. I liked the swoopy height of the hair and the seventies shapes and colours.

karen walker 2

The only bigger show I got a ticket for was the Diesel Black Gold show. It was at a huge venue and the street style scene outside the show was the best and craziest one I had seen all season. I like crazy street style scenes, they really separate the snobs from the lovers. I met a fellow outside the show who knew Kenneth Paul Block and Joe Eula so I asked him a million questions.

Diesel Black Gold SS15
I managed one good sketch at Diesel Black Gold, and luckily that was the moment when someone at WGSN snapped a picture of me looking very exhausted, doing the drawing. It was a perfect little red and gold dress, I used a gold pen on it, and it made a mess of my hand luckily not the artwork.

skingraft 1

My last show worth mentioning was Skingraft, which I had nailed last season. I was feeling good about it, I got my lucky seat assignment BB1. I asked the girl sitting at the end of the bench if I could sit where she was so I could place my sketches on the floor when I was done. She gave me the most evil cut-eye I’ve ever gotten at fashion week, but she moved anyway. Later I peeked at her phone and she was texting that she was going to punch someone (me??) so I was a bit worried and tried to give her as much space as possible by positioning myself at the very edge of the bench. At the last second before the show the PR wedged a very skinny girl in the toxic space between me and my arch-enemy and I popped off the bench on to the floor with some relief.

Skingraft 2 lo

In my floorbound condition, I felt a bit safer and the sketches turned out well, although some got ruined by sticking to each other, these three survived.

Skingraft 4 lo

And that was it, although there was one more show it was so dreadfully boring and I was so poorly located I didn’t even bother drawing it. It was a discouraging season with an uneven portfolio, which I’ve had before, but this one really left me hungry for something else. It seems like runway sketching is a useful skill I’ve acquired, but the opportunities to do something amazing with it appear to be declining as the competition increases. The best drawings that I did in New York were not part of my runway portfolio – they were of friends who inspire me with their style and personality. I believe that indicates what’s next for me.

funeral for fashion blogs

blogging,thinking — Danielle on September 11, 2014 at 12:44 pm

dead lo

It’s become an awful cliche – that thinkpiece, usually written by a fashion journalist with more than a bit of schadenfreude “fashion blogs are dead“. Just as predictable is the refutation. And for a long time, I scoffed at the notion too. I mean, I had been blogging since 2005, and my fashion blog still had a pulse. True, I had somehow managed to dodge fame and fortune as fashion blogging became colonized by the digital it girl with her clothes and her money and her photographer boyfriend. Let’s face it, fashion bloggers were never out to make fashion critics obsolete, and the fact that fashion writers seemed to think so betrayed a lack of perception and surfeit of self-importance on their part. The true incarnation of the fashion blogger was a post-modern revision of the socialite.

Then I had to stop calling myself a fashion blogger altogether because the popular definition had become too tainted by all the wannabes and arrivistes who wanted to cash in on the popularity game and affiliate programs. What I did – draw and write thoughtfully about a subject that has always fascinated me – was no longer the accepted definition of fashion blogging. I changed my title on my business cards to “fashion illustrator and trend theorist” and continued to blog.

This year, I had to admit my fashion blog was clearly on life support. I had taken on more personal projects as I began to style myself as a “fashion artist”, and between that and my growing business as a freelance fashion illustrator, I had fewer post ideas and time to work on them. Every once in a while I post about a larger project, but gradually Final Fashion has become, at best, a monthly link roundup with the occasional portfolio piece.

Final Fashion is dying, following many of the other blogs I knew and loved. It really does seem like the end of an era – between 2005-2010, the new media revolution created a brief open window in the gated palace of the fashion media that weird kids could slip into. Those of us who did climb through that crack have since redefined what we do to become artists – writers, photographers, performers, illustrators. Being a fashion blogger now means being a sort of human advertisement, subordinate to social media platforms and big brands, and for those of us who were part of the early cohort, that’s not what we ever wanted.

The best thing to do at this point is to give our fashion blogs a proper memorial, like Tommy Ton did last week. They were there for us when we were discovering who we were. They gave us a way to enter our industry without following the route of internships and entry-level jobs. They gave us a way to meet friends who understood us in a way no one else did.

I’m in New York right now, so I’m going to hold a small funeral to honour all the fashion blogs at St. Marks in the Bowery in Manhattan on September 14, 2014 at 2pm. Everyone who has had a fashion blog touch their life in some way is welcome. If you do come, please wear a flower so we can find each other.

24 Designers. 48 Eyes. for The Room

portfolio — Danielle on September 2, 2014 at 9:43 am

danielle meder eyes

I am so thrilled to be included among 23 other talented Canadian visionaries in the fall campaign for The Room. I got to illustrate a fabulous Balmain look on the exquisite Canadian model Meghan Collison, and did something a bit different than I usually do – combined paint with digital printing in a larger, mixed media work.

Thanks so much to Abi Slone, Christopher Sherman, and everyone at The Hudson’s Bay Company!

the room balmainthe room meghan

I was also featured in a video about the project – making a brief appearance at 6:31.

click click – 14-08-14

click click — Danielle on August 14, 2014 at 8:03 pm

Welcome to click click, the sporadic review of what I find worth clicking on the internet.

Mick Jagger hair cut

Above, Mick Jagger getting a haircut, unknown origin. Below, Brian Jones getting his hair cut at NBC in New York in 1965, by Gered Mankowitz. Via The RAW Gallery. Did you know the Rolling Stones used to cut each other’s hair? The original rock and roll haircuts were autocuts.

  • rave new world – Rachel R White enters the ever-more virtual rave scene and reveals the it girls who embody it. Crucial.
  • Pizza Rulez – a very clever, good fashion link roundup.
  • RIP Eleanor Kent – a proto-digital textile designer and computer art pioneer I’d never heard of. She’s awesome. Another inspiring discovery from Tumblr – fashion designer Zelda Wynn Valdez, whose distinctive divided treatment of breasts is just as recognizable as Gaultier’s.
  • Jackson Pollack – includes a lot of amazing footage of Pollack working, and a tremendous set of revealing interviews from characters in his life. And if you want another, even sadder – Montgomery Clift.
  • The Art of Hair – inspiring record of inventive hairstyles of Nigerian women in the late 1960s.
  • Reviving a Dyeing Technique – did you know organic indigo dye is a bacterial culture, a living organism? Also for indigo-lovers of reclaimed beauty, Japanese boro.
  • Warhol by Bailey – the fact that I can watch this whenever I want to makes me love everything about 2014. Also, there’s Beaton by Bailey?
  • If the shoe in shoe fits, wear it – “a cross-seasonal, day-to-night, layered footwear option.”

Brian Haircut NBC Studios NYC 1965.

Karma names,

click click – 23-07-14

click click — Danielle on July 24, 2014 at 9:39 am

Welcome to click click, the sporadic review of what I find worth clicking on the internet.

Monette and Mady by Maja Daniels 1

Monette and Mady – very stylish Parisian twins photographed by Maja Daniels, via Kevin.

Monette and Mady by Maja Daniels 2

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