Fashion Tribe

Back to the drawing board

November 18th, 2014
PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.comThis is one of my illustrations, resulting from Louda Larrain's fashion illustration workshop at Fishcake.

PHOTOS BY NADINE KAM / nkam@staradvertiser.com

This is one of my illustrations, resulting from Louda Larrain's fashion illustration workshop at Fishcake.


Beyond the runways, some of the best things about Hawai'i Fashion Month are the opportunities to network and learn something new.

I had such a pleasure meeting couture textile artist Louda Larrain, who spent most of her career in Paris and New York, making it unlikely our paths would have ever crossed if not for her move to Kauai with her renowned photographer husband Gilles Larrain.

She generously shared her talent Sunday at Fishcake Gallery with a class of about 30 people who were interested in learning the art of fashion illustration. As an artist, she looks at drawing as a skill equal to writing and feels it is a shame that so few people work on developing this skill. She sees it as a kind of illiteracy.

Carrie Shuler did a great job posing in all of Louda Larrain's one-of-a-kind creations for the day, including this hoop-skirt design my top illustration was based on.

Carrie Shuler modeled all of Louda Larrain's one-of-a-kind creations for the day, including this hoop-skirt design my top illustration was based on.

I stopped drawing in college, so suffer from arrested development in that area. But it's definitely something I would love to work on more in the future. I would love to one day go to New York fashion week and draw everything I see. But, as Louda said, anyone can draw, but to develop style is difficult.

At any rate, the workshop was both fun ... and challenging. It started easy enough with sketching a retro bikini on a live model. But Louda soon added her designs and textiles to the mix with their nubby and wispy textures, sheers and solids, sparkles and patterns, all quite difficult for a beginner to render.

I started out so energized, but eight drawings later, I was pretty wiped out, but inspired to do more and work at improving my line.

Before he died, my late husband, who loved the arts, left his box of art supplies next to my chair in the living room and I have been staring at it for a year-and-a-half, trying to figure out what he was thinking. Did he have one last project in mind? It was the only thing he took out of his room. Maybe he wanted to encourage me to draw more. I used his pencils that day. He continues to guide me.

The class started with Louda's slide presentation on fashion illustration through history, including this work by Christian Lacroix, among the couture designers she produced textiles for.

The class started with Louda's slide presentation on fashion illustration through history, including this work by Christian Lacroix, among the couture designers she produced textiles for.

 Louda Larrain addresses the class before we start simply, capturing the lines of the body and a simple bikini.

Louda Larrain addresses the class before we start simply, capturing the lines of the body and a simple bikini.

Carrie ran through three poses.

Carrie ran through three poses.

Louda's professional work is at top left; my try is at bottom right. I have a pretty heavy hand and for most of the illustrations, had to stop three times to sharpen my pencil.

Louda's professional work is at top left; my try is at bottom right. I have a pretty heavy hand and for most of the illustrations, had to stop three times to sharpen my pencil.

More poses and illustrations:

illus black

illus pose

My attempt at getting the textures of Louda's textile.

My attempt at getting the textures of Louda's textile.

illus yellow

illus orang

illus blues

illus froth

illus pink

Louda's illustration.

Louda's illustration.

illus BW

Teacher's hand at left, mine on the right.

Teacher's hand at left, mine on the right.

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Nadine Kam is Style Editor and staff restaurant critic at the Honolulu Star-Advertiser; her coverage in print on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact her via email at nkam@staradvertiser.com and follow her on Twitter, Instagram and Rebel Mouse.

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