Fashion Likes to Do Drawings

Karl Lagerfeld, Yves Saint Laurent. Photo: Fashion Illustration by Fashion Designers

Everyone oohs and ahhs over the finished clothes sashaying down the runway, but sometimes it's more interesting to see the outfits at their conception (at least for us fashion nerds). Laird Borrelli’s latest book, Fashion Illustration by Fashion Designers, aims “to uncover and share the unsung and unseen art of illustration by fashion designers.” Page after page in this sprawling guide, which hit shelves in April, is filled with beautiful illustrations — some little more than simple pencil sketches, others colorful, elaborate cartoons. The pool of chosen designers is just as varied as the drawings: 3.1 phillip lim to Zang Toi, with an entire alphabet of big names in between (Christian Lacroix, Isaac Mizrahi, Betsey Johnson, Karl Lagerfeld, Rodarte…) And here we once swooned getting copies of Olivier Theysken's sketchpad. Each designer spread includes a little tidbit on why or what they draw: "I make a wish when I sketch, and it comes out as a drawing," says Isaac Mizrahi. And Peter Som is kind of a tap-the-unconscious kind of guy: "Once pen hits paper, I just let go." Don't we know it. We'd go into more details, but we're still parsing Karl's entry. Instead, just take a look at what we're talking about.

Kendall Herbst

Fashion Illustration by Fashion Designers, $26.40 on