You may sometimes have to sketch gloves, and these present no very serious difficulties. The first thing to ask is whether they would like you to represent the gloves on a hand, which is the better way, or whether they prefer you to draw them flat, as they appear when brand new. Always note the number of buttons, if any ; the detail of the stitching, whether ornamental or otherwise ; and how far the gloves would come up the wrist or arm, if worn. If you are drawing them on a hand, then be sure to ask if they are to be worn wrinkled at the wrist or not (see page 70).

Two other things you may sometimes have to sketch in shops, underclothing and styles of hair-dressing, are always best sketched on a dummy. For very obvious reasons it is impossible to ask a girl in a shop to strip herself and put on a brassiere, a pair of corsets or a transparent nightgown. Very often such things, particularly garments like nightgowns and knickers which are soft, loose-fitting, and largely made of lace, are drawn floating in mid-air, so to speak, and not being worn ; and really this is the most satisfactory way of representing them, as a drawing or a photograph, however good, of a woman in her underclothing is intrinsically unattractive owing to the fact that there is something faintly ridiculous in the idea of a woman, half-dressed, stopping to pose for a picture. Garments of compression, on the other hand, had better be drawn on a stand, and afterwards transferred to idealised human figures in your finished drawing.

Heads of hair are always drawn on a dummy, because hairdressers work out their new ideas in their leisure moments in this way, and not, as is popularly supposed, in the flush of artistic creation inspired by the lovely profusion of hair on the head of some particularly distinguished client. This is not really the place to speak of drawing coiffures, because a hairdresser always employs some artist who specialises in drawing hair to do his Press advertisements for him, while

the all-round fashion artist is only obliged to do it when he is sent by a magazine to make a drawing which is to appear in the editorial. All I need say here is that you must not insist on drawing the coiffure on a young lady, because this is out of the question; and that it is just as important as it is with hats to make quite sure, before beginning your sketch, from which angle you are to do it.

To return to the store : there will come a moment when, whatever it is you have been sketching, you have done all you want to do on the spot. The advertising manager has probably abandoned you long ago when he handed you over to the buyer. Of course you took care to ask him when he wanted the finished drawings and exactly how he wanted them done ; perhaps you were able to astonish him a little by a display of some of the knowledge you gleaned from Chapter Nine of this book, and he was certainly delighted to find you knew anything of the processes to which your finished drawing would be subjected. At any rate there is no point in bothering him again and nothing is to be gained by staying.

But five minutes is never wasted if it is spent in talking to the buyer, as she is certain to remember someone who has been agreeable to her. If the buyer likes you she is quite likely to ask the advertising manager if she can have you to sketch her things another time. It is quite a good plan to let her see the rough sketch. Not only will she think it so awful that almost any kind of finished drawing that you may bring back will seem to her to be good in comparison, but her disparaging eye will be able to detect any mistake you may have made. You will thus be saved the immense bother of having to correct a finished drawing. And it is not only mistakes she will detect but, just as vital though more intangible, understatements and exaggerations. " Make the most," she will say, " of that flare ; bring it right out; exaggerate it." Or else, " Yes, I know it was like you've got it, but those hips want to come in as tight as you like, and the bodice must blouse out over them much more." If she is not too busy to give it, advice of that kind is invaluable to you. Also, if she has approved even the rough sketch, the buyer has in a way assumed a certain share in the responsibility for the finished drawing which, although she may be unconscious of it, may prove useful when the advertisement manager begins to cavil. You can also ask her the name of the girl on whom you sketched the dress (if she was a satisfactory model) so that you can always ask for her again. And, finally, make certain that you know the buyer's name in each department that you visit, in each store you work for ; make an indelible note of it, and remember it. But it is perhaps better to forget them all than to confuse one with another.

Fashion Drawing Sections

Part-1 Part-2 Part-3 Part-4 Part-5 Part-6 Part-7