Adventures in fashion design … from Jackie fashion illustration inspiration to the delights of Fashion Wheel

Adventures in fashion design … from Jackie fashion illustration inspiration to the delights of Fashion Wheel

I’ve been sorting and listing vintage 70s/80s annuals recently and have become totally obsessed with the fashion illustrations in Jackie magazine and I’m not the only one …  ( based on my extensive research - well response to posting one of these fabulous drawings on my insta last week ) It seems that many of you love these and loved to try to copy them when you got your hands on your weekly fix of Jackie fashion inspiration. 

 As much as I love getting my vintage fashion inspiration from fashion photography of the time there is something rather special about these illustrations. I love the way they focus on the clothes rather than the model. There is so much detail given in each sketch which makes it really easy to see the way a garment flows and where it will naturally crease on your body. You can even see sparkles on the jacket featured in the their Night - Time The Trousers Look below. Taken from the 1975 Jackie Annual.

Fashion Illustration from Jackie 1976 Annual


I can really see how these drawings would inspire girls to sketch and design their own outfits. I’d love to know if you did this or still do today ? 


Even though I have a distinct lack of drawing skills I used to love designing  outfits. In the 80s, Fashion Wheel got me hooked. Anyone remember that ? If you don’t, I think that the best way to describe it is as a plastic fashion version of brass rubbing. You may want to look it up but basically, it was a circular piece of plastic with clothing outlines on it. To use you moved the inner circle around to choose a top and then the outer circle to pick your bottoms. You then secured your choice  with a plastic frame so you could colour over it to reveal your fabulous outfit!

We really knew how to have fun in those pre internet days ! 😁

From that firm fashion foundation , I went on to actually sketching my own designs thanks to Fashion and Design Club. This was a school lunchtime club that brightened up Mondays and got us out of the rain.  Run by a couple of impossibly cool ( in my mind at the time ) sixth formers , we were given body templates and encouraged to design and sketch our own garments. Complete artistic freedom ! It was certainly better than double maths. 


I really can’t remember how long I went to this club, but I think it was only in my first year of secondary school. I must have been distracted by other things after that so sadly that was the end of my fashion designer days! 


I’d love to hear about yours x

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1 comment

Although we didn’t have Jackie here in Belgium, we did have similar weeklies and annuals, so I’m totally getting your obsession. And yes, I do agree that we had lots of fun in the pre-Internet days. I can’t remember ever being bored! xxx

Ann (Polyester Princess)

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