Stalked: Rachel Chiu, New York Fashion Illustrator.

6 January 2015

There's something so cool about fashion illustration, even through this is not classified by many galleries as a saleable art form, which is of course ridiculous! Personally I'd happily display fashion illustrations all around my house in London if I could and this is precisely what I have asked the very talented fashion illustrator Rachel Chiu to help me with! I caught up with this very talented little lady while she was visiting London recently from the big apple.

What do you do and why do you love your job? 

I work as a fashion illustrator in New York.  I love my job!  I actually started my career as a fashion designer, but the longer I worked, the more I realised how much I love the illustration aspect of the design process.  I love being able to capture someone's personal style, render the way the clothes move and fall on a figure, and express the way I see fashion through hand drawing.  Personally, I think it's so fun and interesting to be able to put down on paper what I see in my head and be able to share that vision with an audience.

What inspires you and who is your biggest inspiration? 

I am really really REALLY inspired by travel.  I can't think of a better way to find inspiration than by visiting and spending time in a new corner of the world.  I like to study different cultures, meet new people, and get lost in all the ways it can be new and familiar at the same time.  It's a combination of all these experiences that I start to visualize new drawings and get inspired for the next project!  I don't necessarily have one specific person that is my biggest inspiration.  Instead, inspiration comes from the people I meet, and the conversations we have.  My friends and I get really excited when we're together about ideas and can get carried away catching up on life.  It's more like I get my inspiration from them as people and the stories they share with me.  

Who is your style icon? 

I absolutely love Mary Kate Olsen.  I would wear everything she owns, but all in black. Black is just practical when you live in NYC and you draw for a living.  There's too many opportunities for your clothing to get dirty what with taking the subway and slushy winters to accidental pen marks and pencil smudges, haha.

If you could live in another city where would it be and why? 

I would LOVE to spend more time in London.  I've lived there before, but only for very short periods of time, and I've always craved more!  There's something about the energy and the people I've met in London that I really love.  It feels peaceful yet boisterous at the same time, dynamic but also passive - it's the perfect combination of being in a metropolis that still retains the feeling of being in a town.  Also, the architecture is absolutely beautiful!

Five items you can't live without? 

This one's going to be tough!!

1) My black leather jacket from All Saints - I wore it to the shoot, proof of my not being able to go a day without ;) It literally goes with everything, and the white accents on the zippers and inside of the lapel really brighten up my normally all black (without fail) wardrobe. Okay, on rare occasion I wear dark green and burgundy, haha.

 2) Carol ring from Pamela Love's Where The Wild Things Are x Opening Ceremony collection.  It's such a statement piece!  The talon also makes me feel safer walking through NYC late at night.

3) Rag & Bone black and white varsity "Jillian" stripe scarf - it was gifted to me for my birthday from one of my best friends and I can't seem to stop wearing it!

4) KARA Large Stowaway cross body bag in black leather - this bag matches literally everything and is the perfect size to fit all the necessary on the go things with plenty of pockets and a secure zip so nothing gets lost!

5) Black Toga Pulla buckled ankle boots- absolutely can't live without them. They are the perfect boots for everything, so comfy to walk around all day in and just enough of a heel to make me feel a little dressed up.



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