Fashion Illustration On Display At The Brooklyn Public Library

October 2, 2012 Denise Romano
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Until December 1, fashion fanatics will have a chance to see Fashion Illustration: A Contemporary Look at the Brooklyn Public Library’s central branch.

Antonio Lopez created this drawing.

The curator, Brandon Graham, is a resident of Bedford-Stuyvesant. He told this paper that he wanted to promote the art of fashion illustration through this exhibit, which not only includes displays of sketches, but panel discussions, film series, illustration classes and author talks.

“If you read about fashion illustration, you hear it’s no longer relevant and you can’t make any money,” Graham explained. “With this exhibition, it can shine a light on what’s happening and that it’s not true.”

Graham said that most of the time, fashion illustration is used for marketing, advertising or commercial purposes. He wants this exhibit to show the public that fashion illustration can also be used as part of the design process.

“We were able to get illustrations from Ruffian Designers, Brian Wolk and Claude Morais… illustrations that were turned into actual designs that went down a runway,” he explained.

There are about 150 pieces on display throughout the library, including men’s, women’s and children’s wear. “I want [the public] to know that fashion illustration is still relevant and will always be relevant in the design process,” Graham said. “I want it more to be about what’s happening today, but I wanted to give a nod to the history of it to put things in context.”

Samantha Hahn imagined Alice revisiting Wonderland.

Graham said that there will be panel discussion on the business of fashion illustration and there will also be a fashion drawing session. “People can come and draw from a live model in different outfits,” he said. “I want the public not only to see everything on display, but to participate.”

These classes will be held on Thursday, October 4 and Thursday, October 11 from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. at the Youth Work Room.

There will also be a demonstration by Bill Donovan, a Dior beauty artist in residence. “He will project his creative process on a screen for an audience to see,” Graham explained.

Another highlight will be film footage of model Jerry Hall, Mick Jagger’s ex-wife; photographer Norman Parkinson and a young Grace Coddington. That film, “Valentino: The Last Emperor” will be shown on Tuesday, November 6 at 6:30 p.m.

Graham said that he wants everyone who sees the exhibit to walk away with some knowledge. “I want them to know that fashion illustration is still relevant and will always be relevant in the design process,” he said.

The Central Branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is located at 10 Grand Army Plaza. For a full list of events, visit

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