Drawing with style: fashion students’ responses to our collection

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This autumn, National Museums Scotland welcomed students from the Fashion BA (Hons) programme at Edinburgh College of Art as part of a fashion illustration project.

The project was set up by Emily Ford-Halliday, a Lecturer in Fashion at Edinburgh College of Art, and Georgina Ripley, Senior Curator of Modern and Contemporary Fashion and Textiles at National Museums Scotland. The students were invited to respond to garments on display in the Fashion and Style gallery through sketching, mark-making, illustration and collage. The participants were tasked with selecting three garments from the gallery, researching their historical context and creating an original illustration. You can read more about the student’s experience and design process here.

A fashion student presents her work to the panel
A fashion student presents her work to the panel at the National Museum of Scotland.

Representatives from Edinburgh College of Art and National Museums Scotland selected three winning illustrations from the project, which proved to be a difficult task as the standard of work was extremely high.

The three pieces chosen were by Katie Griffith Morgan, Skye Bending, and Delores Zhou.

Katie Griffith Morgan, response to a dress from the 'Body Meets Dress' or 'Bump' collection, designed by Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Spring/Summer 1997. (K.2015.3)
Katie Griffith Morgan, response to a dress from the ‘Body Meets Dress’ or ‘Bump’ collection, designed by Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, Spring/Summer 1997. (K.2015.3)

Katie chose an iconic dress by Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons, which is padded with tulle and can be manipulated on the body to achieve a variety of silhouettes. Katie commented, “I was initially attracted to the look of the garment – the form, the folds and the crumples – that I thought would be interesting to draw. It was the first thing I wanted to draw when I came into the gallery.” Katie added, “Kawakubo’s collection was distancing itself from what, stereotypically, is ‘feminine’, and it’s manipulating the silhouette of the body.”

Skye Bending, response to an ensemble made from the Farquharson tartan which was worn by Frances Farquharson of Invercauld, Scottish, c. 1950s. (A.1994.1036)
Skye Bending, response to an ensemble made from the Farquharson tartan which was worn by Frances Farquharson of Invercauld, Scottish, c. 1950s. (A.1994.1036)

Skye was inspired by the story behind the garment; this ensemble, featuring Turkish trousers and a top in the Farquharson tartan, was owned by Frances Strickland Lovell Oldham, who was a fashion editor for Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar before marrying the clan leader of Invercauld. “I imagined her drenched in this tartan from head to toe. I thought of her as a really proud lady, and I liked the idea of knowing the character who I was portraying,” she said, “I found it difficult to capture the thickness of the material and the pattern at first. But we did a pattern and textural tutorial, which helped me to use other techniques to represent the weight of the fabric more.”

Delores Zhou, response to a catwalk look ‘Sculpture look’ by Craig Green, Spring/Summer 2015. (K.2016.86)
Delores Zhou, response to a catwalk look ‘Sculpture look’ by Craig Green, Spring/Summer 2015. (K.2016.86)

Delores was drawn to the challenge of illustrating something that was just white with no additional colour and selected ‘Sculpture look’ by British designer Craig Green. “The workshops helped me a lot, particularly the one on collage, because before that I had only explored drawing by hand,” said Delores. “After that, I used the collage technique, and ended up with something that’s more 3D and brings the garment to life.”

All of the participants responded to the Fashion and Style gallery in very personal and imaginative ways and really brought the garments to life. You can view a selection of their work below.

Ellie Brown chose to respond to a catwalk look ‘Sculpture look’ by Craig Green, Spring/Summer 2015 (K.2016.86) using restrained linear forms.
Ellie Brown chose to respond to a catwalk look ‘Sculpture look’ by Craig Green, Spring/Summer 2015 (K.2016.86) using restrained linear forms.
Ellie Butler responded to a green velvet bustle dress, c. 1885 – 1888 (K.2014.21) using a combination of drawing and digital imagery.
Ellie Butler responded to a green velvet bustle dress, c. 1885 – 1888 (K.2014.21) using a combination of drawing and digital imagery.
Emma Campbell responded to a coat and skirt from the Comme des Garcons ‘Flat’ or ‘2D’ collection, Autumn Winter 2012 (K.2015.75). Emma used collage and mark making to convey the bold pattern of this ensemble.
Emma Campbell responded to a coat and skirt from the Comme des Garcons ‘Flat’ or ‘2D’ collection, Autumn Winter 2012 (K.2015.75). Emma used collage and mark making to convey the bold pattern of this ensemble.
Heather Reid responded to a coat and skirt from the Comme des Garcons ‘Flat’ or ‘2D’ collection, Autumn Winter 2012 (K.2015.75). Heather used collage and illustration to convey the pattern and personality of this ensemble.
Heather Reid responded to a coat and skirt from the Comme des Garcons ‘Flat’ or ‘2D’ collection, Autumn Winter 2012 (K.2015.75). Heather used collage and illustration to convey the pattern and personality of this ensemble.
Katie Griffith Morgan responded to a coat and skirt from the Comme des Garcons ‘Flat’ or ‘2D’ collection, Autumn Winter 2012 (K.2015.75). Katie used collage and illustration to convey the structure and movement of this ensemble.
Katie Griffith Morgan responded to a coat and skirt from the Comme des Garcons ‘Flat’ or ‘2D’ collection, Autumn Winter 2012 (K.2015.75). Katie used collage and illustration to convey the structure and movement of this ensemble.
Sophie Mitchell responded to a coat and skirt from the Comme des Garcons ‘Flat’ or ‘2D’ collection, Autumn Winter 2012 (K.2015.75). Sophie chose to interpret the leopard print pattern on this garment in a playful way by showing it on animal figures.
Sophie Mitchell responded to a coat and skirt from the Comme des Garcons ‘Flat’ or ‘2D’ collection, Autumn Winter 2012 (K.2015.75). Sophie chose to interpret the leopard print pattern on this garment in a playful way by showing it on animal figures.
Raiesa Salum chose a hat designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, late 1930s (A.1994.1008). Raiesa referenced Schiaparelli’s fascination with Surrealist art by depicting the hat on a stylised nude female figure.
Raiesa Salum chose a hat designed by Elsa Schiaparelli, late 1930s (A.1994.1008). Raiesa referenced Schiaparelli’s fascination with Surrealist art by depicting the hat on a stylised nude female figure.
Rosie Lindsley chose an ensemble by Nabil Nayal, Spring/Summer 2016 (K.2016.85) and used illustration and mark making to depict the textures of this monochrome outfit.
Rosie Lindsley chose an ensemble by Nabil Nayal, Spring/Summer 2016 (K.2016.85) and used illustration and mark making to depict the textures of this monochrome outfit.
Skye Bending chose an ensemble by Nabil Nayal, Spring/Summer 2016 (K.2016.85) and used ink and bleach to depict the digitally printed elements of this outfit.
Skye Bending chose an ensemble by Nabil Nayal, Spring/Summer 2016 (K.2016.85) and used ink and bleach to depict the digitally printed elements of this outfit.
Sophie Walton chose an ensemble by Nabil Nayal, Spring/Summer 2016 (K.2016.85) and used mark making and collage to depict the pleated neoprene skirt.
Sophie Walton chose an ensemble by Nabil Nayal, Spring/Summer 2016 (K.2016.85) and used mark making and collage to depict the pleated neoprene skirt.
Skye Bending chose a man’s banyan, c. 1840 – 1850 (A.1985.212). This banyan features a leopard print lining and Skye depicted the lining as enlarged motifs.
Skye Bending chose a man’s banyan, c. 1840 – 1850 (A.1985.212). This banyan features a leopard print lining and Skye depicted the lining as enlarged motifs.
Sophie Mitchell chose an intarsia knitted sweater by Jean Muir, 1980s (K.2005.649.755). Muir referred to her knitwear as ‘painting with cashmere’ and Sophie used bold mark marking to convey the interplay of colour and personality of the garment.
Sophie Mitchell chose an intarsia knitted sweater by Jean Muir, 1980s (K.2005.649.755). Muir referred to her knitwear as ‘painting with cashmere’ and Sophie used bold mark marking to convey the interplay of colour and personality of the garment.

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