REVIEW: Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration

Katie Byrne is impressed with good-enough-to-eat Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration

So after I waxed lyrical about the launch party for Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration (ACOFI), it has taken me – ooh, around a month and a half to actually pick up the book and sit down and look at it. Visual feast, ahoy.

With a cover as pearly pink as the decorations on the launch party’s cake, this is a coffee-table book with a difference. It features interviews with some of the big names in ethical fashion design, as well as Q&A’s with the 30 illustrators (including Emma Block) whose work bring to life the designs.

Fashion design – let alone ethical fashion design – isn’t exactly my Mastermind topic, and so I initially regarded the book with a suspicious arched eyebrow. I left it for a while and a few weeks of frenzied uni-work went by. And then I stumbled across it again on my bookcase, whilst searching for Confessions of an English Opium-Eater (which I irritatingly enough still haven’t found…my dog must have eaten it). I picked ACOFI up and flicked through it sceptically. Was it worth the £25 I had paid?

So I sat down with a cup of tea and read, and read, and read. As I read, my arched eyebrow gradually returned to its normal position, and when I had finished, I flicked back to the beginning and spent ages staring at all the pictures, wondering how on Earth people can create such incredible images (my artistic ability extends no further than my signature, which is overly elaborate and curly so as to make up for my lack of arty prowess).

I find it rather awe-inspiring that a) ethical fashion exists; b) artists are able to create images that hop off the page to such a degree that they are practically 3D; and c) that Amelia Gregory and the team at Amelia’s Magazine took the time to collaborate the two, and thus create ACOFI. The interviews with the designers and the illustrators are fascinating insights into the creative world, detailing the work involved in creating, and sustaining, successful lines, as well as providing a really personal insight into their lives.

The book – which is in sumptuous full-colour – now has a tragically worn spine from where I’ve flicked through it so often in the last few weeks. My verdict? Totally worth the money, and perfect for dipping in and out of for both artistic and fashion inspiration. Hats off to you, ACOFI.

You can buy a copy of Amelia’s Compendium Of Fashion Illustration here for the special price of £20.


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