No one would be shocked to learn that we, at NOWFASHION, are passionate about runway photography. But classic catwalk images are just one way to see and appreciate the outfits and accessories that designers have created and offered up to a discerning public for inspection and critique.
Sometimes the best way to get to the essence of a fashion show is to see it though the eyes of another artist. It is for this reason that NOWFASHION has decided to start highlighting the - still too often overlooked- art of fashion illustration. In each of the four fashion capitals we will select what we feel were the top shows and looks in each city and ask an up and coming illustrator to re-imagine the NOWFASHION photos of those presentations.
We started this new project with the recent Milan Fashion Week shows, as seen through the eyes of Sella Molenaar, a talented illustrator who studied at the Antwerp Fashion Academy. For the Paris fall/winter 2014 top collections we turned to Floris van Velsen and gave him carte blanche to recreate the key looks of the season.
He surprised us.
Instead of reworking the single images we sent him of the strongest ensembles from the top eleven shows (it was impossible to chose just ten) he took it upon himself to put the designs “in situ”. He created an atmosphere around not just one outfit, but often several of them to instill in his work a sense of time and place, as well as movement and emotion.
We hope you enjoy van Velsen’s vision of the collections as much as we do. And to get to know the artist a bit better here is a quick and dirty Q&A with him for you to learn more about this talented illustrator.
NOWFASHION: When and where did you study?
VAN VELSEN: I started doing the orientation year at the Rietveld academy in Amsterdam but I discovered that I was really more interested in how clothes were constructed about and cutting the patterns to create the desired shapes. So I changed Rietveld for Fashion Design academy and I hope to graduate this year.
NOWFASHION: How did you start drawing?
VAN VELSEN: When I was working as a model I really had the urge to express myself, to show what went on inside my head and that there was more to me then just the way I looked and it had to have something to do with the emotions of color.
Before I even started my illustrations I painted really big canvasses of women who have a lot of femininity and portraits without faces, drawing and illustration is something I discovered later on in fashion designing classes at the academy.
NOWFASHION: What do you usually draw?
VAN VELSEN: What I draw is a posture, a feeling, a look, and a woman who I could identify with myself, with a lot of energy and effortless elegance, tall and without gravity. A lot comes from inside of me, inspiration I get from the input I pick up a long the way but it all comes together in my head and the last step is to express it on paper.
NOWFASHION: What’s the most special project you’ve done so far?
VAN VELSEN: Have to say I really enjoyed working on this project for NOWFASHION where the looks were chosen for me so I worked on it as an assignment and to test myself.
NOWFASHION: What can we expect in the future?
VAN VELSEN: This June I am moving to Paris to realize my dream to work as an artist in a totally different inspiring new world.
NOWFASHION: What do you think of the new illustrations trend?
VAN VELSEN: Personally, I see it as a healthy reaction towards the overkill use of far too many photos, which you build up immunity for and forget the real subject so illustrations could bring a breath of fresh air.
NOWFASHION: Why do you think that more and more press are starting to chose fashion illustrations?
VAN VELSEN: To choose an illustration is an obvious step for magazines to personalize their context, taste and atmosphere.
NOWFASHION: What makes you different from other illustrators?
VAN VELSEN: By the response I get, I would say the effortless elegance of my style.