Annie Naranian’s fashion illustrations aren’t meant to be taken seriously. Much like her approach to fashion, her illustrations are quirky, if a bit wonky, with exaggerated features and even more exaggerated fashion choices. “I want my audience to find happiness and laughter throughout my art,” she stresses on her website. “And this is mainly because I think we take life a little too seriously sometimes.”
With an overwhelmingly optimistic approach to both life and art, finding inspiration comes easy for Naranian. “There are many things around me that I am able to get inspired by,” she relayed in an interview with I Love Illustration. These “things” range from clothing and textiles to books and old magazines.
But she also finds inspiration from fashion sketches, mentioning masters like Christian Lacroix, Karl Lagerfeld, and David Downtown, and their playful approach to design. “What I appreciate about the three of these artists (and fashion designers) is their playfulness with figure, shape, and color,” she notes. “I find playfulness to be an intriguing element in the creation of art because it is able to evoke a story by capturing the fundamental parts of the image without getting too bogged down by the details.”
Based in Toronto, Canada, when Naranian isn’t in the studio, you can find her getting lost in vintage clothing stores, looking for further inspiration. “My interest in vintage fashion can be seen reflected in my art,” she adds, “because I think much of contemporary fashion is indebted to what has come before it.”