Architecture and fashion have always strived to encapsulate society’s deepest values into material form. Unsurprisingly, creative minds find a natural kinship between these two design fields. Zaha Hadid, for instance, while renowned as a phenomenal architect, occasionally collaborated with famed fashion houses like Louis Vitton and Fendi for her line of accessories.
Rob Francisco, an emerging Filipino illustrator, has also ventured into the art of merging architecture and fashion. Having a professional background in architecture, he developed this combination early on through his architecturally inspired high fashion illustrations. Years later, he recreated this idea with a broader knowledge of iconic structures, eventually sharing his illustrations on social media and garnering him an impressive following. “My skill in fashion illustration is a gift that I need to share,” says Francisco.
From Unité d’ Habitation’s multicolored modules to Capital Gate’s asymmetrical sweep, Guggenheim Bilbao’s deconstructed façade to Milwaukee Art Museum’s immaculate wings. What’s most notably translated into his fashion illustrations are a structure’s strong narrative, dramatic silhouette, and distinct details. He often commits to practicing his craft, consistently producing new artworks using the program ProCreate, and experimenting with a variety of techniques and materials, such as flower petals to depict fabric.
Inspired by design mavericks Zaha Hadid and Alexander McQueen, he believes in using simple and structured forms, as well as in expanding one’s sense of imagination. “I want my designs to speak for me,” he emphasizes. In the future, he imagines illustrations to be driven by innovation in media, materials, techniques, and technology.
Overall, Rob Francisco’s artworks visibly demonstrate the inherent connections we sometimes miss between architecture and fashion. Which of his illustrations strike you the most?