Just checking in…..
on body positivity
in Fashion Illustration
I want to let you know where I STAND.
I draw it like I see it. And if it’s Photoshopped into a new, longer shape, I dont’ draw it.
Women are beautiful.
Anyone who promotes that women should look longer than they are doesn’t promote women.
It’s a war against women when you do that. It’s fighting the beautiful reality of who and how we are.
Please draw yourself, as you are. Please, if you ‘re drawing models, draw them as they are.
If you walk into a fashion design or fashion illustration class, and your teacher starts teaching you crazy, out-of-whack proportions as if that will make you a better artist or designer somehow…
It doesn’t pan out. DESIGN, by definition, is for functionality as well as beauty.
None of us are being asked to design human beings…. that’s not really an option, as well as proportions go. We’ve got to work with what we’ve got.
There’s no “too tall” or “too wide” body….
there’re just decisions to make about the choice of model or client, or the choice of hemline, pattern, or fit.
A dress form is a tool, not a rule!!!
“READY TO WEAR” fashion fits…..
almost nobody. Don’t think it’s your body that’s the problem. I’m a fashion designer and I know…. there are no “norms!”. HOw big the bust is, or small. How high or low. HOw wide or narrow the shoulders, hips, … how “high” or “low” the waist. How long the legs compared to the torso… how big or small the head, long or short the neck… these are infinite varieties among all human women.
Different cultures and societies apply value to different figures, but the funny thing is that every body type is revered SOMEWHERE. Which goes to show how ridiculous it is to think that we have to look a certain way, to have curly or straight or kinky or wavy hair, narrow or round thighs, etc, etc, etc……
Diversity is beauty.
When you see a dress form or a mannequin, it’s just SOMETHING to put the clothes on. They are TOOLS, they aren’t RULES.
When I look back at my years as a fashion student and how cut off I was from the bodies I was designing for… totally a disconnect from my self as a beautiful woman, this disconnect is not a small thing.
When I became a mother, fashion became an oddity– who were these women and why did they ” have to ” look like that?
The women in the fashion magazines aren’ t even as long and skinny as the unbelievable way we were taught to draw at Parsons.
I love that I teach fashion illustration and design now and have all of the self confidence and knowing to draw exactly how I want.
two clients asked for LONGER LEGS on my illustrations. One was a woman, one one was a man. Both were…confused. I know they’re all afraid of being thought of as less sophisticated or something.
But it’s up to us, each of us,
to change fashion by being straightforward. What do we believe in? Is taller and skinnier really more beautiful? How does that thinking have repercussions that ripple out into society and culture? Is it worth it to us to set a different vision? It is to me.
It’s up to us to love ourselves and others more. It’s up to us to train our eye to see beauty and stand up for it.
When I was asked to draw taller figures,
I got disheartened,
(Okay, pissed off) but I know it’s just because I haven’t fully aligned with my tribe and connected with the clients and market I believe in. This gives me the fuel to keep moving towards the people I want to be working with, and for.
That just feeds my desire to create more and more strong messages in my illustrations to promote and attract more body positive influencers, brands, and advocates. Let’s create a swelling, rising tide of beauty, affirmation.
And that goes for “petites”, juniors, “skinnies” “plus size” “over 60 ” and every other size and style range.
BE IT. Be unapologetic.
The female body has been under attack for a long time. We may see and hear about it on the outside, but it’s our job to set things straight on our own inside, and then venture out into the world from there.
If there’s anything I learned from art and fashion design school, (before we got into our fashion design majors), it was that perception is totally changeable. What I mean is that we can be taught to think anything is beautiful. And we’re always right, too. The more beauty we are able to see, the happier our lives are.
Be willing to OPEN YOUR MIND
and your HEART to beauty.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on body positivity. Who are your favortie models, influencers, thinkers, and websites?
Let me know!
Check out my plus size model drawing videos here on the site.