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Illustrator Katy Smail Talks Artful Inspiration in a World Overrun with Photoshop


LOOKBOOKS editor-in-chief Cator Sparks explores the lost art of fashion illustration with artist Katy Smail. See the interview and fantastic gallery of her whimsical work below.

With the amount of air brushing going on these days, models in magazines look nearly good enough to hang in the Louvre. Their skin so dewy, their teeth so white and their eyes so clear, so it only make sense that the fashion world is rediscovering the lost art of illustration.

Illustrator Katy Smail Talks Artful Inspiration in a World Overrun with Photoshop

Back in the good ole days, names like Joe Eula, Antonio Lopez and Kenneth Paul Block would cross the pond to sketch the latest looks coming out of Paris to be featured in WWD and Vogue amongst others. Illustrators also worked closely with department stores such as Bonwit Teller and Lord & Taylor as well as other high end boutiques who wanted that certain pizzazz in their ads and catalogues.

Many of the great illustrators of those days have since gone to the great sketchbook in the sky, but luckily a new brigade of sketchers is cropping up. We recently met Katy Smail and were lured in by her dark and mysterious fashion damsels. Her playful animal sketches are equally mysterious and amusing. Read on to hear how this Scot ended up in Manhattan, her dream clients and who the hell this woman is she keeps drawing.

Written by Amanda Gabriele

I stole my first pair of platforms from the Spice Bus in 1997 when Anglophilia was all the rage. Collector of vintage bags, vinyl and kitchen appliances. My dream of becoming a butcher is momentarily on hiatus so I can teach you how to wear muumuus and apply false eyelashes. Follow me on Twitter @CrystlMeatballs.