Mon | Jun 21, 2021

The fine lines of fashion

Published:Friday | September 11, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Naecia Dixon with her creation 'Lady Rue' in the foreground.
The genesis of a fashion illustration by Naecia Dixon.
Naecia Dixon illustration Free Flow
The finished product ... a fashion illustration sketch by Naecia Dixon.
Convergence of couture with art.
Fashion illustrator Naecia Dixon
Fashion illustration inspired by Japanese culture, a creation by Naecia Dixon.
Fashion illustration by Naecia Dixon.
Fashion illustration by Naecia Dixon.

"I am not a word person," said Naecia Dixon, a fashion illustrator, who plays with forms, colours, and figurines and expresses her emotions through myriad strokes than the defined shapes of letters and sentences.

The fine lines that define fashion illustration, according to Dixon, are a work of art.

"This form has principle elements of art," she said. "I am still a raw talent. I have so much to learn."

The difference, according to her, is that in fashion illustration, the subjects are the clothes and the accessories, which become the focal point and have intricate details. In simpler terms, fashion illustration is the communication of fashion that can be expressed through drawing, painting, or illustration.

Detailing is the key in getting the best results.

"Fashion is a tough industry; it is very competitive," said Dixon, who is self-taught and dreams of taking this natural talent from paper to the runways of the haute couture world.

"Fashion illustration is something very new [to me]. I have been doing this for the last two or three years," she said, though she has been teaching art since high school.

"People are confident in what they are doing and one has to be sure about what one is doing. It could be going against a trend and creating one's own niche."

For her, the objective is to stimulate the senses - a chord that touches the annals of the soul and one that can be exemplified by the subconscious mind.

"Fashion illustration comes so easily to me," she said. "I don't have to think about the subject at all; it comes naturally."

In her work, nature and its manifestations are reflected in the illustrations.

"I draw inspiration from nature," she said. "From the flowers and the trees, its branches and the leaves. My signature style is painting the eyes in different colours ... this is a tribute to a very close friend who died when she was 17; her memories live in what I create."

Like any other art form, Dixon said, illustrations are both a medium of expression and a therapy.

"Painting is therapeutic to me, it is meditative ... it's pure therapy," she said, adding that she incorporates numerous nuances to her creations to give them depth and character.

"Since my name is derived from flowers, they are an integral part of my illustrations and I love fusion of different cultures," the coy artist informed. As her thoughts trailed into the space, a yellow butterfly gently glided outside, across the foliage at Sanaa Studios in Kingston.

From the Japanese minimalist to the multicultural and multicoloured Indian motifs and the serene Zen circles, there are traces of each shade in her creations.




"Fashion is lifestyle. Everything you do is fashion," she said. "From your eyelashes, how you do you your hair, or the shade of lipstick that you wear."

But, she added, the key is not to judge. Everyone has the right to do what they have to - only that they should know if it suits them.

"You can be making a statement with being simple or wearing layers of make-up," Dixon said. "The choice varies from person to person."

Leonardo da Vinci once said, "Painting is poetry that is seen rather than felt, and poetry is painting that is felt rather than seen." The words are profound and carry a deeper meaning, and can perhaps encapsulate Dixon's life and work; she is dyslexic, like da Vinci.

"As a child, I had severe dyslexia and I still have difficulty recognising words," she said, as the tropical sunshine peeked through the trees, dispelling their warmth. "I put colours to words, which helps me to relate.

"I am not a graphic designer," she said. "I don't design words, I am designing images, giving them perspective."

And this 23-year-old has a dream, to bask in the romanticism of the fashion capital of the world. "I would love to live and work in Paris as a designer," she said. "I will be lucky, though, if I can make it there when I am 40."

Da Vinci captured one of the world's most mystic and mysterious smiles, that of 'Mona Lisa', a painting that adorns the walls of The Louvre in Paris. Perhaps Dixon's 'Mona Lisa' is waiting to be captured on the two dimensions as she journeys to stand out rather than to blend in the crowd.