A couple of weeks ago I settled down with British Vogue fresh off the letterbox. I really do think that British Vogue is the best English-speaking Vogue there is by many miles, but I cannot say to be that enthralled by Cheryl Cole and Victoria Beckham occasionally gracing its covers. I think they are two chavs who epitomise all that is crass with society but, of course, I do read every single line of Vogue, hence I also came across Posh Spice's interview. In it she proclaims, 'Look, I don't draw, but nor do lots of designers.'
Gosh, don't they really? Or was she referring to the 'designers' who rapidly copy what's marching down the catwalk so that cheapish versions appear on the high street a mere six weeks later, in Zara and Marks and Spencer? I thought that Posh epitomised the transliteration of the adage a little knowledge is a dangerous thing when she spewed that she doesn't read books, only magazines. I guess the crux is there and then dear reader: if you only read magazines how would you possibly know that designers are very often illustrators (Lagerfeld, for example) and very accomplished artists whose drawings are legendary (McQueen, Manolo, Dior)?
It so just happens that yesterday I was dragging my heels in my local library and spotted one of those stellar books one could use as voyeuristic entertainment and/or immense inspiration. Fashion Designers' Sketchbooks, compiled by Hywel Davies, is a fabulous book if you're interested in illustration, fashion, the creative process or any combination of these. It showcases the work of fifty designers, including Matthew Williamson, Yohji Yamamoto, Mark Fast, Alice Temperley, Dries Van Noten, John Galliano, but the very best thing are the questions posed to each one of them. How would you describe your design process? How important is research in your working process? What fuels your design ideas? The various answers provide not simply a glimpse into some of these artists' processes, but also inspiration for all of us, especially when we feel a little stifled or stuck. And for all of those who think that designers don't draw... ehrm... think again. Or maybe read some books.