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Finding inspiration in childhood stories

Alice in Wonderland fashion editorial by Annie Leibovitz for Disney Dream portrait series

image above by Annie Leibovitz - Alice in Wonderland

If the child's mind is like a sponge, then the brain of a child destined to become a creative must be always on hyper-drive, consuming everything visual in its path. Some of the picture books that surrounded me in my childhood and even into my teenage years still continue to influence my work today, and I know I am not alone in this amongst other artists and designers. One of the areas this is most apparent is in fashion; there are so many instances of early imagery continuing to inform the work of designers, stylists and photographers. I thought it would be fun to explore some examples - let's see if it conjures up some memories of your favorite books and stories, too....


influencing Fashion Editorial: The fairy tale theme has been a rich source of inspiration in fashion magazines. It is successful on many levels since the subject is usually image-rich and also taps into a shared experience for most of its audience. People can feel connected to the images on a visceral level since they are re-experiencing something from their childhood which was often repeated time and time again in the form of bedtime stories. Most of us have heard some form of these stories retold over many years starting from our earliest memories. That collective experience makes for some very powerful images.

click through the gallery below to see more details on the images:


influencing Surface Pattern Design: Here at Polychrome our pool of designers and artists have also been strongly influenced by the books and imagery that surrounded us in our formative years. By bringing our shared and varied experiences to the table when we are working, we are able to inform and enrich each other's work as well. The diverse group of artists from across the US and as far away as Africa and Europe have also added new voices and influences to our aesthetic that greatly enrich our print collection. Here is a glimpse of some of the books and illustrations that continue to impact our work:

click through the gallery below to see more details on the images:


influencing Fashion Designers: Over the years there have been many instances of fashion designers being directly influenced by books with strong imagery. From the recent obsession with Grimm's Fairy Tales and "Alice In Wonderland", to more whimsical or vintage references, the runways prove time and time again that this is a bottomless source of inspiration for many.

click through the gallery below to see more details on the images:


What childhood books do you feel have been influential in developing your own aesthetic? Feel free to tell us in comments. We would love know!

Sources: Vogue|Vogue|the Atlas |HuffPo |Daily Mail UK|Hello Giggles| Elle |KaterinaPlotnikovaPhotography |Christina Cheng blog | I lobo you | Mulberyy&Flax | Maribel | Sensual Fairy Tale | For Redheads

* We intend no copyright infringement by displaying images from other sources on our site. Unless otherwise noted, all images are the property of their respective owners.

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