I was thrilled to be contacted by Velvet d’Amour to be part of the Black & White issue of Volup 2! Go check it out – hundreds of pages of pure inspiration for the plus size community. I love the empowering messages that Volup 2 always offers, and I was so honoured to be part of this issue with a few other incredible artists.
My feature included these images of Velvet modeling Jean Paul Gaultier, and Denise Bidot modeling Chromat, as well as a few of my plus size runway sketches from fall 2015 designer collections.
A lot of pieces in the spring 2015 runway show for Gucci could be worn in spring or fall. I relate to this concept because honestly, I don’t shop for specific seasons. If I like a top that is meant for spring or summer, I wear it all winter with a sweater. It’s all about the layers, right?
This plus size fashion illustration captures one of those straight size looks that marched down the runway – a fur vest layered on top of a pumpkin and squash coloured dress, with a motif of bare branched trees printed on it. Very autumn chic.
Now I’m craving a pumpkin latte…
September is a month of discovery – new cozy sweaters hit the stores, new coffee flavours come out at the coffee shops, and dozens of new fashion shows hit the runways all over the world.
I’ve had a lot of fun drawing plus size illustrations of some fantastic catwalk looks this month, but I have to say that this Badgley Mischka dress might be my favourite.
New York Fashion Week continues to showcase strong collections for spring 2015. Only a few days remain of NYFW, but there have been so many great shows that I will have plenty of sketches to work on long after the finale later this week.
Here are more of my plus size fashion illustrations for the shows that I’ve really loved lately, from Tommy Hilfiger, Diane von Furstenberg, and Ralph Rucci.
Hilfiger is currently my favourite of the entire week.
I’ve been keeping up with the runways at New York Fashion Week and have really enjoyed some of the spring 2015 collections that have been presented recently.
For each NYFW collection that I particularly like, I’ve been sketching my favourite 3 looks – as if the collections had been designed for and worn by plus size women. Don’t you wish these collections included plus sizes?
Here are my fashion illustration sketches of the collections by Red Valentino, Monique Lhuillier, and Cushnie et Ochs. More collection sketches to come later this week, so check back soon!
Fall is my favourite season, and September is one of my favourite months. I was flipping through the September issue of Vogue recently and getting excited about fall fashion, but it’s definitely been too warm in Montreal to do much more than dream about sweaters and ankle boots.
This illustration captures how I feel! Torn between summer and fall. This is based on a photo in a very old SWAK lookbook (maybe spring 2011?).
Throw out your grandma’s notions that you can’t wear white after Labour Day, and throw on one of indie designer Liesl Binx’s fresh new looks from her recent fall 2014 collection. New customers receive 25% off their first order and there is free shipping in the USA, so you should pick your favourite and order now!
Personally, I’m in love with this white sheer organza dress, but there are plenty of great pieces in her new collection to choose from.
I got in touch with Liesl recently to talk about her inspirations, the plus size fashion industry, and her advice to new designers.
1. Who are your biggest fashion inspirations?
One of my biggest fashion inspirations is honestly my little sister. She is 100% FASHION if you know what I mean. She inspires me to always push the envelope with my personal fashion as well as when I design. She keeps me in the loop with fashion as a whole instead of just “plus size” fashion, which I think really influences my point of view. She’s also one of those people who can always make something look better (whether that’s an outfit or your kitchen). She has a true eye for detail and whenever I am unsure of something I run to her!
2. What was the inspiration for the fall 2014 collection?
I gave this collection a very serious tone because I wanted to express a high level of sophistication. I wanted it to be feminine but not in an obvious way. I am really inspired by menswear i.e. clean lines & tailoring so I combined the two concepts. It has masculine silhouettes and is feminine without frills.
3. Is designing a collection for the plus size woman any different from designing for the straight size woman? Are there any particular challenges specific to plus size design?
It’s my personal philosophy to design the same things for a plus woman that I would for a smaller woman. Many designs for plus woman are watered down versions of the real thing and I just don’t think that’s fair! It can definitely be challenging doing this because I have been told many times to lengthen sleeves & hems in order to make more sales but I am unwilling to do this. I really want to challenge people to be comfortable in their own skin.
4. This is an exciting time for plus size fashion, with growing numbers of plus size bloggers, retailers, and advertisement in mainstream media. Where would you like to see more plus size representation?
It sure is exciting! I would like to see more plus representation in physical form meaning in retail stores and mainstream magazines. There is this huge boom online which is amazing but there are SO MANY plus woman who aren’t aware of the online plus community.
5. There is nothing currently in the plus size industry that has the world wide recognition of Vogue magazine or a runway collection from Marc Jacobs. Do you think the plus size fashion industry will remain a niche with its own culture and community, or do you see an opportunity for the community to merge with the straight size industry?
I think that at some point they will eventually merge but I don’t think that will be anytime soon. There is more to the markets being seperate than consumers realize. It takes different patterns, marketing, money and expertise in order to be succesful within the plus market. I think that companies that specifically cater to straight sizes will continue to do that because in a lot of cases it doesn’t make financial sense for them to expand into plus size. However, I do think plus size will become more accepted in the mainstream fashion realm.
6. Starting your own collection directly after finishing fashion school is a hard challenge, and many young designers discover that the reality of the fashion industry is very different from school. Do you have any words of advice for anyone starting their own label?
Many of my mentors in school warned me not to start my own brand right after school. I did it anyway because I felt they didn’t understand the boom that was/is happening in the plus market. I thought that if I didn’t get started I would be left in the dust. I’m happy with my decision and my advice to others is to do what you feel is right and remember to take advice with a grain of salt.
Where can we find you online?
I welcome anyone to drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org as well!
TUMBLR: Liesl Binx
FACEBOOK: Liesl Binx
During August, I decided that my instagram needed some more love. I’ve started to post every day and I’m loving it! In fact, I may be addicted. I enjoy sharing the many sketches that don’t end up featured on this blog, and I like showing my works in progress and my sketchbook.
I hope you’re all following me and enjoying all the extra plus size sketches in your day! I’ve been running a contest all month with Curvy Girl Chronicles to give away a free illustration if you follow us and tag your photos with #CurvyChroniclesSketch, and it’s been great to see all of the beautiful photos that you’ve shared with us. Contest ends tomorrow on Aug 31 and I can’t wait to see who the lucky winner will be!
Here’s a showcase of some of my favourite and most popular images I’ve shared on instagram this month.
This summer has gone by really quickly. I can’t believe that it’s almost fall already, even though the September issue of Vogue is winking up at me from my night table.
There are still a couple of more weeks of nice weather ahead, so go enjoy it at the beach one last time before we’re all shivering in cardigans and eternity scarves.
You might want to check out my other fatkini illustrations of Denise Bidot and Gabi Fresh.
This is another sketch I did about a year ago, but had never painted or inked the final illustration. Awhile ago I bought a few new tubes of Windsor & Newton watercolours, and this fashion illustration uses my new favourite – Opera Pink. I’m craving new bright colours, which means a trip to the art store soon!