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Fashion Illustrations : The Days Before Photography

Fashion IllustrationCarr & Westley has been making traditional womens and menswear since 1919.  During that time we have produced many catalogues and seen this process change substantially.  For instance, some of you may remember the way our catalogues looked before the days of product photography.  Back then we would hire fashion illustrators to do drawings of our products and these would be used to convey to the customer what the garment would look like worn.

It seems like a long time ago now but the last fully illustrated catalogue we produced was in 1994.  That’s only 18 years ago! I recently came across a box of our old fashion illustrations and was bowled over by the level of skill that was needed to produce them.  The illustrator would capture the exact styling and detail of the products.

We would send the illustrator a selection of product samples and they would draw up their work. Here is a selection of product drawings I found:

Fashion Illustration Pic 1Fashion Illustration Pic 2Fashion Illustration Pic 3Fashion Illustration Pic 4

In the mid-nineties, fashion photography and colour printing became affordable for smaller businesses like C&W. Sadly that meant an end to the use of illustrations like this but I still feel impressed and nostalgic when I see them.

See Carr & Westley's Autumn/Winter Collection with new modern day photography...

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