1. Fashion Fridays ~ Peter Jeroense

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    Peter Jeroense is a fashion illustrator born 1966 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. He studied Fashion Design and Fashion Illustration at the Academy of Visual Arts (now Willem de Kooning Academy), graduating in 1988 with Honours.

    After graduating Jeroense, along with Anja Koops, began the fashion brand Ell = Bell. Despite receiving positive attention from the international fashion press, the pair had to close it down in 1991 due to financial problems. Following the company’s closure, Jeroense taught at an art academy, as well as working as a freelance print designer, stylist, and fashion editor for Blvd. Magazine. After trying everything, he felt that he was best-suited to illustration, as it encompassed the most of what he and enjoyed.

    Jeroense uses a range of tactile techniques, drawings in pen and ink, cutting and pasting, and photocopying pictures. He prefers clean lines of timeless garments, dressing more characteristic faces, rather than a typical pretty girl. His signature black and white illustrations have appeared in Boiler, Carlos, Flaunt, Nylon and Selfridges Tribune.

    Quite vocal about his opinion of illustration in the fashion industry. The following quote has been translated from his interview with Bregje Lampe.

    “The fashion illustration is still not valued. It is mainly the advertisers who do not appreciate the genre. And money is quite simply the greatest power in the fashion industry. Advertisers want their products to be visible in the rest of the leaf. As if the individual garments are so clearly visible in those fashion photographs now.”

    The illustration vs. photography argument rages on. Jeroense raises another good point in that interview, one of perception.

    “In addition, the idea of an artist who makes a few sketches at home behind his desk, is not nearly as glamourous as a team of stylists, models, photographers and assistants that put the latest fashions in an exotic location.”

    I do not often directly address the topic of illustration vs. photography on here, but Jeroense’s words have spurred me. There are without a doubt others who have a more in-depth knowledge of the subject, however, through researching and writing for The Lounge a few pieces have been made clear to me. Before, and up until the early 20th Century, illustrators were celebrities. Internationally known and a regular hot topic in the newspapers. In fashion alone, we only need to look at the popularity of Carl Erickson and René Bouët-Willaumez. An illustrator’s work was sort after by the general public, not just those in the field. With the exception of a precious few, this is clearly not the case today. If nothing else, it can be said that the media attention shift towards photography, which does not look likely to shift back presently, continues to lower the public perception of illustration.

    Having said that, there are a few publications still holding up the torch for illustration, namely The New Yorker, Illustration, 3×3, Varoom, and independent ones, such as Ammo. That is something we can take comfort in and help it grow.