Historical Fashion Drawing

I like to pretend that I’m good a drawing.

From top: Home Course in Fashion Art (1939); Russell's Standard Fashions: 1915-1919; 20th Century Fashion; Fashion Drawings and Illustrations From "Harper's Bazar" (Erte); Fashion Drawing in Vogue

But I’m not very good a drawing most things. It’s still one of those things I like doing. Mostly my drawings are of clothes, historical clothes. Because I like to do this I’ve been trying to amass a good deal of books on historical clothing.

Some fashion drawings in "Home Course in Fashion Art". I think that the previous owner of this book colored in illustrations.

This is one that I found at an antique store when I was out shopping with Anne. It was one of those things that I found and I had to get, because where else would you get a 1930s fashion drawing book? It’s by no means the best, but it does have some interesting tips. This is one of those books that I think have gained a personality over the years.

Two of my favorite covers that Erte did for Harper's Bazaar.

Ah, Erté. I was introduced to him by my mom, who studied fashion and textile design when she was in college. This is a really nice book that I was given for Christmas 2009, and it’s filled with his fashion drawings and Harper’s Bazaar covers. The covers mostly date in the 1930s, but the fashions run from 1917 through the 1920s. My mom also owns a smaller book with plates of costumes Erté designed for productions like Folies-Bergère.

One of my favorite pages in "Fashion Drawing in Vogue".

My newest fashion drawing book Fashion Drawing in Vogue. I saw this book and knew that I needed it. I was right about needing it; it’s one of the most beautiful books that I own. I haven’t had much time to read it, but I’ve just looked at the pictures and I love it. It contains drawings from the early 1920s to the 1980s, but focuses more on the Vogue fashion drawings from 1925 through 1965.

With these books, it’s become less of a “oh, look at that, I wish we could still wear clothes like that” and more of an appreciation and then an understanding that the more I study the fashion of years gone by, I can see how our fashion is being influenced.

My own drawing.

Finally, a drawing I did of a costume that I designed for a play that I have yet to write. It’s somewhat based in early 1920s late ‘Teens dresses, but adapted for a stage.