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July 18, 2013
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Stephanie D. Couture - Spring 2014 Sneak Peek by ember-snow Stephanie D. Couture - Spring 2014 Sneak Peek by ember-snow
NOTICE: This is not my design. A designer I interned for (Stephanie Dong) asked me to illustrate one of her designs for promotional uses.

Finished front and back illustrations for a design by Stephanie D. Couture. This dress will be featured on the runway in October at Fashionxt for Stephanie Dong's Spring 2014 collection.

I used Sakura Micron Pigment Liners, Copic markers, and a white gel pen on sketchbook paper.

Design © Stephanie D. Couture (Stephanie Dong)
Illustrations © ember-snow (Christina Ngo)
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:iconchibunii:
Chibunii Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2014  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
So beautiful! It's so elegant <3 
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:iconember-snow:
ember-snow Featured By Owner May 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you. :)
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:iconnormalideal:
NormalIdeal Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014
Things would be so easy if we all had waists as thin as that...or not, because then our ribcages wouldn't fit. I question what is wrong with drawing an actual, normal woman body in this sector. (though you have lovely art)
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:iconember-snow:
ember-snow Featured By Owner Mar 6, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I like to stylize my bodies when doing fashion illustration; I find it fun. I am fully aware that this is not representative of a normal human body. Thanks for your opinion and the compliment. :)
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:iconnormalideal:
NormalIdeal Featured By Owner Mar 7, 2014
Somehow, almost no one stylizes their bodies to be heavier, or god forbid, short, or any kind of different body type for fun. It's always the stick-thin, giraffe-tall woman. I find it so distressing...Anyway, you're welcome :) And thanks for being open to criticism :)
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:iconember-snow:
ember-snow Featured By Owner Mar 8, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I know what you mean. Fashion is a tough world to crack when it comes to being open to normal or heavier body types. Especially with runway modeling--heavier models take more fabric to design for, so, unfortunately, I think companies have to try and save money by designing for the really thin models. Fabric and notions get really expensive, and runway garments already cost so much. Sewing longer seams to accommodate girth also means more labor time/cost, so that could also be a factor. It's unfortunate to perpetuate such an unrealistic body image, but it makes sense when trying to save on fabric cost, in my opinion.

Please know that I'm not trying to advocate for unhealthily thin models; I'm just trying to explain why it may be difficult for the fashion industry to change. Especially when thin equals beautiful as portrayed by the media and society. Apparel companies and designers may be afraid to risk trying to change that view, because it could possibly hurt their runway shows and lose them customers in the end if people see garments on larger models and by any chance think it looks unflattering. The same goes for the illustrations--they should reflect what the garment will look like on the actual models. I hope that someone tries to break the norm on the runway soon, and that people would see it positively.

In the end, I still draw like this because it's fun for me, personally, and I apologize if it causes any harm to people's self-esteem or makes anyone think they should look like my illustration. I'm hoping people will understand that it's a highly stylized drawing for the fashion industry. It's also just my style of drawing, and I hope that people will respect that. However, thank you for bringing this up; it's a very important matter and I like to hear what you have to say. :)
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:iconnormalideal:
NormalIdeal Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2014
If every piece of fabric matters, why is this industry totally ok working with 1.90 cm tall models?! Then the logical thing would be to use shorter people. And if a model is not stick-thin and is walking on runway, the garment looks unflattering to who? Mostly to celebrities on their latest freak-diet, probably. Most of the population is not that thin and will never look like that. If you put a normal weight woman up there, millions of people watching her on TV would see just how the garment would actually look on them...This situation is so ridiculous. And illustrations usually don't show how the clothes would actually look on the thin models, they take it to the next level: Figures which are too slim to be anatomically human.

This is not your fault, I know. And if I ever became an illustrator, I would never draw a figure with missing ribcage bones or an absent stomach to stylize anything...Thanks for taking the time to think on it and write about it :) Artists who care are the real artists in my opinion.
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:iconember-snow:
ember-snow Featured By Owner Mar 10, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
I think you meant 190 cm, not 1.90, but I get what you mean. I don't know--unfortunately, that's just how the industry is. It's sad, yeah.

In terms of stylizing, that's good that you take a realistic approach to anatomy. I've never been the type to like drawing completely realistically; I don't like drawing exactly what I see (I think there are photos for that, and I would rather draw something I imagined, myself). I like drawing people with "absent stomachs" and "missing ribcage bones" because that's my style. Every artist's work is different; you will see there are many who choose to draw realistically like you, and you will see there are also many who like to move away from that and stylize things. It's the same idea as asking why some people draw girls with cat ears and why people have wings, and so forth. It's not realistic, but the artist added them because they chose to.

I wish people wouldn't look to art for unrealistic body images, because the worst thing that can happen to an artist is being told what he or she cannot draw, etc. But I know there are people who do. Unfortunately, you can't completely control what people choose to put out for the world to see, and, in some part, I'm glad. I like variation. I don't think I'd like it if everyone was limited to drawing only what may not be offensive to people. There would be no provocation of thought or controversy or deep conversation.

I guess I'm a little more lenient on art than photography or other forms of media that reflect realistic human likeness. I think Photoshopping models' bodies and faces to be more "attractive" is harmful, because the model will still portray "a photo of a human." At least, to me, when something is drawn, it's easier for me to disconnect it from reality, making it easier for me to not see things in a harmful way.
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:iconnormalideal:
NormalIdeal Featured By Owner Mar 11, 2014
Yeah, I meant 1.90m, not cm. I don't know if you use it like that in the US, here we use this point system :)

I get your point. I also don't always draw realistically. I'm here to make manga art which has little to do with realistic styles. But I've always felt responsible for the weak and unfortunate, it's in my personality. For example, I was very popular at school and I would use that to stop popular guys from bullying weak students. And when I started thinking about creating manga, it passed on to that. I want chubby characters, short characters, black characters, ugly characters as well as beautiful, slim, intelligent etc. characters. I want to embrace everyone, but it's hard to resist the call of beauty, I know. I struggle!

I feel the same about fashion industry. These days everyone claps girls who manage to deal with their anorexia problem, people shed tears for them. But there's something going on that pushes some of those girls into it. And that's when I start thinking of shrinking ribcage illustrations, extra-thin models/celebrities, and size 0 clothes. It all works together. Of course I'm not telling artists like you "Don't draw that!" I love most of your pics! But I also see the consequences.
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:iconember-snow:
ember-snow Featured By Owner Mar 18, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh, nah, we use inches and stuff, because we're weird like that. xD

That's nice of you. :) And, yes, I don't really read manga a lot anymore, but I definitely loved the series that had a variety of characters. I got tired of reading shoujo manga a long time ago (although I still read the ones that aren't so cliche and with weak, annoying heroines with huge googly eyes). Yeah, beautiful art is nice and pretty characters are easy on the eyes, but the character development always seems to lack when the boys are just like "Hey, I'm hot--girl, go out with me."

True. There are people who might use anorexia to get attention or because they're feeling bad about their image (or both). It's sad to think about that though. :( And, thanks. 
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