Anna Kiper has been a technical designers, forecaster, illustrator, couture designer and professor of fashion. She has worked at both Calvin Klein and Mondi, and now designs for Maggie Norris Couture. She also carries a full teaching schedule at Parson's and FIT in New York, where she lives.
Ms. Kiper's opus is not a how-to for wannabees as likely to be assumed from its presentation. It is a folio of the finest art for appreciation by connoisseurs, and a beacon lighting the way of aspiring genius to Studio City, Manhattan, London, Paris, Milan, Berlin, Budapest, St. Petersburg (name liable to be changed without notice) Shanghai, and Tokyo.
By the time a student decides to illustrate fashions, one should be able to render figures and drapery with professional competence, so a guide to this specialty is not the place for a primer on drawing and painting. The dozen pp Ms. Kiper allots to basics show how the fashion figure and poses differ from classic life study. She goes on for a couple dozen pp showing how the construction of garments is drawn as "flats" for the pattern makers; I bought the book for these pages. The rest of the book shows how she renders fabrics, patterns, textures, and accessories in exquisite detail with a variety of paints and tools, from watercolour to crayon, pencil, sponge, sandpaper, toothbrush, collage --- everything in the kitchen including the food.
At first sight, these illustrations look like spilled paint and burnt toast in a teenager's bedroom, but examination sees the lines defining the figures drawn with the precision of a surgeon's scalpel, the facial features express more mood than live models, the materials seem palpable, and the construction photographically detailed. A consummation of the Grand Style, these illustrations are free as Matisse, colourful as Gauguin, true as Lautrec, and original as Van Gogh. Ms. Kiper dresses the stars, and her art is exhibited in museums.Read more ›
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