Book Review: d'artiste Fashion Design

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Fashion Design is a surprising addition to the latest d'artiste series of artbooks.

When I think of fashion design, images of models with flamboyant clothing appear in my mind. The illustrations featured in the book certainly match the level of flamboyance, even more with the element of fantasy.

This book is focused on the technical aspect of creating art digitally. It's not one that goes into conceptualization of designs. There's nothing on the different types of material or how to choose them - they are not be too relevant in this book anyway.

The artists featured are Alessia Zambonin, Annie Stegg, Lois van Baarle and Anne Pogoda. Alessia Zambonin was a fashion design teacher who's now teaching design. The others are concept artists who deal more with character designs.

Alessia Zambonin's two tutorials are on creating realistic fabric effects, using Photoshop in this case. You'll learn to deal with denim details on jeans like how you can draw the stitching. There are also helpful tips on applying patterns onto clothing, and getting them to follow the folds.

Annie Stegg's tutorials are collaborations with Anne Pogoda on character design with tips on drawing different types of clothing.

Lois van Baarle's first tutorial is on using shape, movement and silhouette to create portraits. Basically getting the character to pose in a more visually appealing manner. Her second tutorial is on using accessories to enhance a portrait, in this case it's a beautiful pair of exotic earrings that seem heavy and painful to wear.

Of the three artists, I like the art of Lois van Baarle more. There's a certain warming and inviting colour combination that she uses. Her fashion design belong to the less wild spectrum involving mainly just layers of one-piece clothing. There's a distinct lack of ornaments like buttons, chains, belts, etc. She draws mainly girls though. Oh, the examples in the book are mainly girls.

The rest of the non-tutorial pages are filled with illustrations from the invited artists. They are all accompanied by commentary from the three artists. However, the commentary don't really talk about fashion design. There's a strange inclusion of a mecha robot and the commentary was about the 'textures, lighting, details with so few well-placed brush strokes'. What would be better is to have the original artists talk about the inspiration behind why they dress their characters in that way.

I find this artbook to be peculiar when it comes to the coverage on fashion design. I attribute it to the lack of some sort of structure. There's no checklist of things to consider and it dives straight into the rendering of fabric. I thought the part of posing figures would be better presented earlier.

d'artiste Fashion Design: Digital Artists Master Class is available at Amazon (US | CA | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | JP | CN)

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Thank you for this review, this is the exact type of commentary I was looking for to determine if it was worth $75 to me. It really did look painting heavy, which, granted, is half the process. I was looking for more of the conceptualization process (as you put it) and it seems light here. I was most interested in the pages filled with little sketches, and not final pieces.

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