We're between seasons, but there's a definite air of anticipation in the office. Applications for AW16 closed last week and with a growing collection of upcoming talent to choose from, the selection process for next season’s designers is underway.
We caught up with our SS16 in-house illustrator, Scott W Mason to gain some insight into the things he looks out for in a collection and his personal highlights of SS16. With a degree in Fashion Photography from Falmouth University, Scott is lead by a strong, clean aesthetic within collections. ‘My personal favourites from SS16 Merit Award Winner, Roberts | Wood and [AW15 Merit Award Winner] James Kelly. They both had such exciting structures and shapes to draw, as well as minimal use of colour which I have a soft spot for.’
As well as presenting emerging designers to the fashion industry last season, Fashion Scout also showed cult icon, fashion designer and musician Pam Hogg's SS16 collection, ‘I loved Pam Hogg’s collection, she’s always a huge Fashion Scout highlight and [this season's] collection 'Lawless' really showed her punk personality in full force.’
As the largest off-schedule event during London Fashion Week, Fashion Scout provides illustrators like Scott with the perfect place to expand their fashion illustration portfolio. He explains his technique: ‘I scribble down my responses live from the catwalk, focusing on the shape of a garment- the flow of the fabric or a specific pattern.’ It takes talent and technique to draw live fashion, capturing a garment's movement and essence all while working amongst the reams of industry guests at a show can be tough. ‘There’s a lot of pressure [drawing live on] the catwalk, it’s tougher to work around prying eyes, I want to make sure every illustration is perfect.’
With only a few seconds to draw his response, Scott has to choose carefully when selecting which look from a designer he wants to focus on: ‘I tend to go for shape mainly, there isn't a whole lot of colour in my illustrations so I'm always drawn (pardon the pun) to lines and shape. For example with my Apu Jan illustration, the shape of the dress was beautiful to me, with the vertical lines of the top with the horizontal drape of the waist with it then kicking right out with the flowing fabric, drawing those shapes and lines excites me far more in an illustration than any print or rainbow of colours.’
SS16 was Scott’s debut as Fashion Scout’s in-house Illustrator, but he has illustrated fashion for several years, ‘embarrassingly it was America’s Next Top Model that inspired me to get into fashion. I couldn’t afford to do photo shoots, so drawing was my only option.’ Showcasing his illustrations on Instagram, Scott has built up a large and engaged following over the past few years and is making a name for himself as one of London’s great new talents.
Fashion Scout gives established and upcoming talent a spotlight to showcase their work in, and as well as launching many designers, this past season gave Scott the support to take the next step in his own career. ‘It was a great experience to work within a group of other creatives and working towards a daily deadline always pushes you to your limits.’ Since working with Fashion Scout in September 2015, Scott has started working at bridal footwear boutique and is also selling originals and limited copies of his SS16 artwork.
Scott looks forward to the AW16 season in February 2016, ‘I have two soft spots: one is staggered hemlines (they're so fun to draw, much like in James Kelly's collection), and I absolutely adore anything that has a pop or illustration-type look to it like Typical Freaks collection in Ones To Watch, so fingers crossed for something similar next season.’
With selections for next season currently underway we’re sure AW16 will provide plenty of illustration inspiration.
Scott W Mason’s work can be found online at http://scottwmason.com/ where his original artwork can be purchased.
Text: Elizabeth Renfrey
Illustration: Scott W Mason
Photos: Simon Armstrong
Photos: Simon Armstrong