Models One must be irked at being put out of business by a bunch of cartoons. But then the fashion illustrations of Jason Brooks and Graham Rounthwaite have produced some of the most stylish and attitudinal young women of the Nineties.
Currently gracing the underground in the form of a illustrated advertising campaign for Faberge's Fusion fragrance, the work of the two friends is breaking new ground in both fashion and illustration. Both are well known for their club flyers (Brooks for Pushca and Rounthwaite for Off Centre at 333 Old Street), but that only represents a fraction of their recent work.
Brooks's work has featured in Harpers Bazaar, Tatler and New York fashion bible Visionaire, and German Elle recently commissioned him to record London Fashion Week. He has also contributed five pages of deft caricature to November's Elle, with illustrations including one of the model booker (with "hair scraped off her face so she can speak louder"). Inspired by this, his Japanese publisher, Taiko, has asked him to produce a book, a visual record of the peculiar world of London fashion and the characters who inhabit it (brace yourself, Isabella Blow).
Rounthwaite, who is also art director of hip-hop mag Trace, is responsible for eight pages of fashion in November's Face - a radical departure from the usual downbeat styling and photography. "I'm most inspired by photographs and magazines rather than other illustrations," he explains. "I've never worked in high fashion and my interest in fashion illustration is purely functional. I represent the raw materials I am given. Clothes are sent over to me and I imagine how they are going to look and make up the people in my head."
Brooks and Rounthwaite are too modest to claim credit for a renaissance in fashion illustration: "If there is a revival, it's because art directors are commissioning the work rather than because Jason and I doing something incredible."Reuse content