Supported and partnered by top international brands such as Alberta Ferretti, Lacoste, and Bulgari, the aim of Fida is to support new talent and create space to engage and build community among fashion illustrators, both amateur and professional. Applications for the 7th iteration of the awards came from 20+ countries and judges included Martyn Roberts, CEO Fashion Scout London Fashion Week; Alwyn Hunt from Adobe; Silvano, the Creative Director of Printemps; fashion illustrators Stephane Manel and Rosie McGuiness; Kate Mason, Chairwoman The Royal Society of Designers; and Giulia Bartolomei from Bottega Veneta.
From a varied and exciting field the judges were tasked with arriving at unanimous decisions within four categories: Fame and Fortune; Culture Vulture; Century of the Selfie; and Fashion Futures. Judges' feedback revealed that this year’s crop exhibited a broadening of aesthetics, confident use of multiple image-making techniques and contemporary awareness with an uptick in minimal works that explored the balance of line, color and space. Each category winner earns a feature in the Fible (Fida’s annual fashion illustration bible) and 1-year Fida membership, while the overall winner receives an additional cash prize of 2000 pounds sterling.
In the Fame and Fortune category, Joanne Maasdamme’s black and white rendering was a particular standout for its interesting exploration of anatomy and strong striking pose. It is satisfying to see the body positivity movement represented in fashion illustration. Culture Vulture winner Kateryna Gorbenko’s portrait of a young woman in sunglasses was an overall favorite image for at least one member of the jury, and was noted for its “detailed intricacy and more expressive bursts of chaos that sit expertly on the page.”
Century of the Selfie was won by Lital Gold for her Matisse-like rendering of a languid figure sitting against a floral backdrop staring inquisitively at the viewer. “Some brilliant digital rendering skills used in this piece,” read the jury notes for Fashion Futures winner, Zoha Khan, who captured the qualities of fabrics, its drape and cling, matt and shine, with a particularly striking and skillful blend of digital tools.
Student illustrations reach almost professional standards at 7th Fida awards
For several years the awards have included a section dedicated to student entries. In the Fame and Fortune category, Lauren Kelso won for her her raw rendering of a seated figure in an Yves Klein blue blazer and camel boots. Judges praised its “effortless and fearless sophistication,” which they found “truly distinctive - it could easily be featured in a magazine.” In the Culture Vulture category, Jia Leman took the prize for a bold and expressive portrait which appeared to feature a combination of media including woodcut, printmaking and collage. The Fashion Future category was claimed by Hamidah for an animation that provoked the following jury response: “The environment is particularly strong and adds a surreal quality that lifts the aesthetic even more,” while Century of the Selfie Winner Jiyoung Park was rewarded for his brave choice to work in black and white and for a submission that was deemed both “authentic and intuitive at the same time.”
From both the regular and student entries an overall winner was then selected. The Overall Fida 7th Awards Winner 2023, Lital Gold, impressed with her collage style accentuated with flourishes of detail. In the student section it was Lauren Kelso’s piece which took the prize for its beautiful use of silhouette, focused color and interesting approach to composition.
Next up for the Fida community is a Paris exhibit celebrating 50 years since the Battle of Versailles, that historic fashion show that pitted American and European designers against each other, followed by a London Fashion Week residency during which Fida artists will live sketch the runways.