Melted chocolate looks like an exploding avant-garde dress, textured butter creates rhythmic folds and tiers, burnt matchsticks form an ombré tutu skirt, drops of wine are placed expertly and precisely to look like embellishments of precious stones, the reflection of light through rain drops on a window achieves a glamorous sequin effect. These crazy ideas are the stuff of Armenian fashion illustrator Edgar Artis’ extraordinary imagination. The result is beautiful and inventive fashion drawings that are often more captivating than real life dresses.
Artis uses unusual materials and every day scenes to create astounding dress designs. Cheese, fruit slices, tin foil, multi-coloured candy, fruit petals, pencil sharpener shavings, plant leaves and even onion peels have made it onto his illustrations. He either directly fashions these objects into assorted dress patterns, or creates detailed paper cut-outs on his drawings and holds them up to different landscapes. Beautiful fields of flowers, cloudy skies, city streets, photographs of light movements captured at slow shutter speeds, ornate architectural structures and vivid paintings often reside as dress prints in Artis’ drawings.
Artis cites New Zealand artist Kristina Webb and Jordan based illustrator Shamekh Bluwi as his inspirations. Their creative art stirred his imagination into crafting mesmerising works of art that evoke strong reactions from viewers like “Must-have”, “dream dress” and “I really want to wear this”. The designs, combining Artis’ brilliant drawing skills with his cut-out and embellishment techniques, range from ball gowns to pantsuits. They are elaborate, often incorporating multiple silhouettes, geometric cut-out patterns, headgears and trains. Sometimes, the same cut out and same dress style placed against different backgrounds creates completely different looks, proving the value of the environment and its position in his designs. Artis sees the beauty in everyday objects, scenes and moments; often just clever placement can create stunning effects and illusions.
The talented artist’s recent work features a dreamy dress illustrated with butterflies and ‘embroidered’ with sea glass fragments. He says he soon plans to create a dress design with real live butterflies. We’re watching with bated breath for Artis’ next stroke of ingenuity. Très magnifique!
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