While Megan Hess started off her career in graphic design, she has since become an international fashion artist who has worked with fashion houses and luxury brands such as Dior, Fendi, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Montblanc, Givenchy, Valentino, Balmain, Jimmy Choo, and Tiffany and Co. Megan has also illustrated portraits for such notable publications as Vanity Fair and Time, created accessories for Henri Bendel, and illustrated the windows of Bergdorf Goodman in NYC.
In addition to her best-selling books, Megan has also created a series for children centered around the chicest mouse in Paris, Claris, and a bespoke range of silk scarves, cushions, and Limited Edition prints that are available on her website.
Megan illustrates all of her work with a bespoke Montblanc pen, Monty.
Which came first, your love of fashion or your love for illustrating?
Definitely my love of drawing. I think fashion became a fascination for me by the time I was about 10 years old, but drawing was always my first love.
What was the first fashion house that you illustrated for, and how did you feel when you saw your first couture gown up close?
The first Fashion House that I illustrated for was Dior Couture. Seeing a couture dress up close is like seeing a work of art. It is simply breathtaking.
As a lover of all things French, I felt transported to Paris through the pages of Paris: Through the Fashion Eye. Out of all of the places to see, cafes to people watch and fashion destinations, what is your absolute favorite spot to visit in Paris?
I have SO MANY!!! Personally, I love people watching the most and so my favourite cafe – Cafe De Flore is probably my favourite spot. I can sit for hours on end soaking up the Parisian atmosphere, eating cheese and sketching everything that inspires me.
In addition to Paris: Through the Fashion Eye, you also have a book dedicated to New York. Do you plan to illustrate another book in this ‘series’ featuring another city with a rich fashion history?
I have many cities on my list that I would love to dedicate a book to. The reality is that it all comes down to time and what I’m able to create each year. Every time I visit a new city I picture exactly what I would illustrate if I were to create a book for it.
What was it like illustrating the windows for Bergdorf Goodman, the most well-known department store in NYC?
AMAZING! Bergdorf Goodman is my favourite Department store in all of America. I always say that Level 7 is what heaven might look like! Incredible fashion, cosmetics and accessories AND I love their gorgeous restaurants at BG.
Out of all the dresses you illustrated in your best selling book, The Dress, what gown would you have loved to have had the chance to wear?
Ohhh I would love to own them all! I think the black lace Armani gown that I drew on Cate Blanchet was incredible. I would certainly love to attend an event in that dress.
What elements make a dress iconic?
Something has to ‘happen’ to the dress to make it iconic. It might be the amount of work and detail that it took to create the dress or perhaps it was a moment in time or occasion that made the dress so iconic.
What is the atmosphere like on the front line of a fashion show?
It’s a great atmosphere and every show is different. I’m always just as interested and fascinated by the people attending the show as I am the collections that come down the runway.
Your upcoming book Elegance The Beauty of French Fashion, you feature an inside look at 10 of the most iconic French fashion houses. What did you enjoy the most about creating the illustrations for this book?
I love the process of looking at a designer’s complete history and curating it down to 10 looks that really show the essence of the brand. I love diving into the DNA of a brand and identifying what makes them unique and iconic.
When writing and illustrating ICONIC: Masters of Italian Fashion what were the biggest differences you saw between the designs from french fashion houses you’ve written about in the past, and the designs of the Italian fashion houses?
Both are incredible and masters of their craft but I think Italian designers are more driven by passion and French designers are more driven by the intricate details.
In addition to your books for adults, you also have two books for children. What inspired you to write the Claris books?
It was always my dream to create children’s books. Once I had my own children I realized that I was craving a character that also appealed to adults too. My little mouse loves fashion but the core message of her character is about being kind and not being afraid to be very brave.
Until October 13th, the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour will be offering a High Tea inspired by Claris. What was the most exciting part about launching this collaboration?
Everything! This High Tea is a dream come true. It’s a way of sharing the Claris experience with everyone. For two hours you are treated to the most amazing High Tea inspired by Claris’ world in Paris!
Along with the books you’ve written and illustrated, you also have a collection of bespoke scarves. When did you first come up with the idea to give admirers of your work the opportunity to have wearable art in their fashion wardrobe?
I had illustrated scarves for many luxury brands at the beginning of my career so it was a natural progression to develop my own collection. I love Silk Twill and to me, a scarf is the perfect wearable canvas of my art.
Website: http://meganhess.com // Instagram: @meghanhess_official