IN Interviews : Elise Mary Yasmin Pellican
1st year London College of Fashion student, Elise Mary Yasmin Pellican, is gaining a significant amount of web presence through her fashion illustrations. When she's not tending to her studies at LCF, Elise is exploring unique fashion illustration techniques as well as keeping a close eye on fashions most elite. Elise is successful at capturing the essence of high end fashion's seasonal nuances. Infashuated had the opportunity to chat with Elise Mary Yasmin Pellican and really dive into what inspires her wide range of work.
Where are you from? I live at home with my Parents in Norfolk, and commute daily to London to study Fashion Illustration (BA Honors) at London College of Fashion (LCF), I'm currently in my second year.
What is your favorite medium? I don't think I could choose a favourite medium; I always combine a mixture of elements within my works and sketchbook, from pencil to watercolour and even more unusual mediums such as freehand stitching, and I think its these combinations that make my works unique.
How would you describe your artistic style? Playful, whimsical, and enchanting are words I'd use to describe my artistic style. Couture collections, the lavishness and drama of the fashion world, along with the enthralment of professionals such as Shona Heath and Anna Dello Russo inspire the detail and imagination of the illustrative works. I thrive on the pace of the fashion world, but I love details, and often this is what i will pick up on in an image or piece of clothing, and this is what will draw me to it and give me the desire to recreate it in my own hand, with my style and aesthetic.
What triggered your start in fashion illustration? When did you first start illustrating? I've previously studied fine art, graphics, art textiles, product design, garment construction along with photography and styling and I think this has given me a repertoire of design experiences which has enabled me to come to decisions about what I enjoy doing most. Continually trying new things and having new experiences has helped to guide me to this point of my career, I always knew I had love for art and fashion, but not how to channel it, or to make a career from it, as of yet I've not decided exactly what I want to do—whether it be set design, costume, an Illustrator, or work within a fashion house or magazine … so I think I'll do all of them!
I went straight from sixth form in Norfolk into a foundation degree at LCF, which you have to do in order to be able to do any sort of art degree. [There], I specialised in the fashion image pathway! It was here I got put forward for, and fast-tracked, onto the BA Fashion Illustration course I'm currently doing.
Is there an artist or illustrator that you looked up to? Is there anyone who has been a great influencer of your work?: Currently, I find I'm more inspired by the Fashion Designers and their visions of the collections and the surrounding atmosphere of the collections, such as the makeup and set/catwalk designs.
What fascinates you most about fashion illustration? The ability to create an image from scratch [by] your own hand, creating everything exactly as you'd like is such a nice thought for me; seeing the image that I've had in my head translated onto paper is always exciting. For me the experimentation of varying techniques and mediums is something that keeps me so enthralled in the world of Fashion Illustration.
What is London College of Fashion like, and how has your student experience contributed to your work?: LCF is great for giving you the contacts and the opportunities to work within the industry from the very beginning.
Do you design/imagine the attire worn in each illustration? Is there a concise idea of how you outfit your illustrations? I always work with an outfit or even a texture of garment in mind! And these are always from garments I've seen on the runway—my favourite designers being Dior, Chanel, Givenchy, and Lanvin because of the detail and embellishment and you'll often see these collections in my works. The garments themselves are works of art and I love to portray them in a new form of art through my illustrations.
What’s your stance on computer-rendered works and modern techniques within Fashion Illustration (e.g. Gary Fernandez or Manuel Rebollo)? On my selective course at LCF we have a mixture of Illustrators using computers to produce work.
In the fashion industry many people say that Fashion Illustration takes the backseat to Fashion Design, Production, and even Retail. How relevant is Fashion Illustration in today's fashion industry?: I feel with the increase of blogs and websites, Fashion Illustration is more prominent and exciting than ever before. Readers love to see a more hand-crafted image on the screen and for instance, I don’t need a budget for photographers or models or locations, I can put a Fashion Illustration or story together within hours or days and I have access to 100% of anything shown on the runway. [However], in reality, those same garments are scattered all over the world being fought over by editors from every magazine imaginable.
Have you worked with any major designers in the past? Who would you like to work with? Currently I think my dream would be to collaborate on a photo shoot with photographer Tim Walker, and Set Designer, Shona Heath. I think the combinations of the styling and photography is asking to be entwined with illustration, creating even more dream-like images. Whilst interning, I recently worked on photo shoots with Tim Walker for Vogue Italia, and Casa Vogue, and it has only made me love his work more.
Recently, Illustrators like Liz Blair, Abbey Watkins, and most recent, Marcela Gutierrez and Andrea Tarella have collaborated with major brands to launch and design products. Are these opportunities part of your interests as well? Definitely! So far, whilst studying at LCF, I have collaborated with various brands-winning all three competitions so far through our course. All three have been t-shirt design competitions with the charities approaching our course: The Variety Club, Jeans for Genes for ASOS, and most recently (this week) Orchid-Raging Bull, which has had major press from magazines and newspapers alike, and have all been judged by professionals in the industry!
I constantly collaborate with various companies and small brands, and I continually produce work for various magazines, blogs and websites. I'd love to work with a major brand. At this early stage of my career, it is great to be getting this exposure, and the confidence winning has given me.
What's next for Elise Pellican? Projects, travels, et cetera? At the moment I'm working on various illustrated editorials for magazines along with setting up my new website and continuing with university work and any other competitions and opportunities that may come up via the college! [I] absolutely love to travel, so I do as much as I can when I'm not in uni. Last summer, I spent seven weeks travelling Thailand, (riding elephants and cuddling baby tiger cubs and their mum)! And three weeks travelling America doing all the theme parks (major adrenalin junkie), Vegas, Disneyland, LA, Coronado, etc. So hopefully this summer will bring some more exciting travels, but for now I must start the dreaded dissertation!
-- Special thanks to Elise Pellican. Interview by James Buford, and edited by Alicia Fairclough for Infashuated © 2011. No part of this content or information included therein may be reproduced, republished or redistributed without the prior written consent of Infashuated.