New York Fashion Week Trends Tutorial

Holly Nichols | May 8, 2017

Fashion week is always full of plenty of inspiration for artists and illustrators. I was pleased to see the "fringe" trend from last year present itself with a twist. Last year's fringe said "70's boho," but this year's says "roaring 20's." With more of a silky-shine, this fringe is really interesting to render.


  • Bristol Paper
  • 2H Pencil
  • Black Colored Pencil
  • White Colored Pencil
  • Copic Multiliners 0.03, 0.3
  • Copic Sketch Markers: E00, E11, V12, RV66, RV69, RV99, E47, E49, E71, BV01, BV20

Step 1: Sketch the figure and the garment outline.

I use a 2H pencil, so the graphite does not smudge, and so it won’t be visible underneath the markers. 

Fashion Week Illustration

Step 2: Sketch the skin tone.

I have used E00 and followed by E11 and BV20 for shadows. Immediately after, sketch a light layer of V12 over the top of the dress. This will help achieve a sheer effect on the top.

Fashion Week Illustration

Step 3: 

Immediately after the layer of V12, go back over it with E00 to wash out the color and to emphasize the sheer fabric even more. Sketch the base layer of the dress with V12. 

Fashion Week Illustration

Step 4: Begin to color the fringe’s base layer with V12.

Tip: At this stage of the drawing, try to think of the fringe as a shape, not as individual strands. Think about how you might draw hair- each strand is not drawn, but in general, the shape of the hair. (We will highlight individual pieces of fringe later). 

Fashion Week Illustration

Step 5: Add the second “Shadow” layer of the dress and fringe.

Begin to add interest on the top with another layer of V12. . For this design, I have chosen to add scalloping to the top of the dress. 

Fashion Week Illustration

Step 6: Add a layer of contrast with RV66.

To start to define the fringe, add the contrast to the top of the fringe where it meets the gown and the bottom where it will start to fray a bit. The middle of the fringe shape should be the lightest value. 

Fashion Week Illustration

Step 7: Add a layer of deeper contrast with RV66 and RV69.

With the same colors, begin to add individual pieces of fringe. They should be going in multiple directions, because as they come down the runway, they have a bit of a bounce to them.

Tip: Use the brush end for the fringe. I find it easier to start from the bottom of the fringe and work up. 

Fashion Week Illustration

Step 8: Color her hair.

I have chosen to give her brown hair. Sketch the base layer with E47. Add contrast with E49. The darkest values should be at the roots of her hair, and closer to her jawline/neck. I also add in her shoe color with RV66.

Tip: The hair should sway in the same direction as the hips are pointing. In this pose, the hips are tilted down to the left, so I have sketched her hair flowing to the left. 

Fashion Week Illustration

Step 9: Outline the figure and the garment.

For any outline of skin, I use Copic Multiliners. I start with the 0.03 multiliner to outline the arms, small portion of the foot, and the tiny details on her face. To outline the hair, I use multiliner 0.3. For the areas where I want to outline the garment, I use a black colored pencil (make sure it is very sharp). Again, you can add a bit more definition to the fringe.

Tip: To outline hair, sketch a bit outside of the color layer. This will give the hair a bit more movement, and it will give you a chance to define individual strands. 

Fashion Week Illustration

Step 10: Finish up the sketch and tie together all loose ends.

Before deciding how I will wrap it up, I take a glance at the whole sketch to see what it needs. After evaluating, I add a bit of blush contour to the face using R20. I color in her eye color using E47. I add a little bit of “eyeshadow” with E47. I add more shadow to her skin with BV01, and I take the same color, and I add a baseline underneath her feet. To make the fringe pop, I give it a bit of a highlight with a white colored pencil. Last but not least, I sign the sketch with a 0.3 multiliner!

Tip: Apply the white highlight in a squiggle pattern. This will help define the shine on the fringe. 

Fashion Week Illustration


Topics: Illustration, Copic

Holly Nichols
Holly Nichols on May 8, 2017

Holly graduated from Endicott College with a BFA in Studio Art. She merged her love of fashion with art using her beloved artist markers. Her work is sold internationally and she works with corporate clients to create fashion and beauty illustrations for campaigns, live-sketch events, and more from her studio just south of Boston, MA