Rose Wong explores a personal passion through her experimental Lookbook project

The fashion-inspired series started in 2020, and has become a “low pressure” and “meditative” side project through which Rose can try out ideas.

6 April 2022

When we last spoke to the Brooklyn-based illustrator Rose Wong, we took a greater look into her field of editorial illustration work as well as her fantastic Riso craft. Two years on, and the illustrator has caught our eye once again with her fantastic Lookbook series: a growing collection of illustrations decked out in whimsical, couture, or avant-garde fashions designed by Rose herself. They’re all in Rose’s distinctly charming style, which is what keeps us coming back for more. “Everything started in the sketchbook, a study in line and shapes and how far I can push it,” Rose tells It’s Nice That on the project’s genesis. “It was always black and white and I would repeat the same character but in different poses.” Synthesising this with her love for fashion and clothing, Rose began to create multiple looks inspired by her favourite fashions of the runway. “Most looks come from a burst of inspiration, something I made because I saw something that was cool or beautiful,” she explains. “It’s meditative, fun and most importantly low pressure.” Instead, Rose believes in the “make it and go” philosophy, never letting a piece be over thought or redone.

To achieve such beautiful results in a hasty process, Rose relies on Adobe Illustrator. “It allows me to quickly build shapes that I could never fathom in the sketchbook,” she explains. “I can try interesting and different colours and combos, and create patterns.” In this way, the Lookbook project has allowed for Rose to “try and not erase or fiddle too much” with her craft, which lends itself well to her commissioned and editorial work. “I think of it like building a house,” she adds. “It’s one brick at a time.”


Rose Wong: Lookbook (Copyright © Rose Wong, 2022)

With over 400 looks now under her belt, it’s impossible to narrow down some favourites of ours. Still, Rose does us the favour by selecting out two of her own personal preferences. One is of an elegant cape outfit, with a deep red fauna pattern over black, and gold lining. “That was my first look ever before I even had a name for it,” Rose explains. “I was drawing a lot of characters wearing capes and this was my first time digitising those ideas.” For Rose, this piece “set the standard for the whole series” and her first time making a clothing pattern.

“I think my style is the culmination of how tools, sketchbook and illustrator, affect each other,” Rose summarises. “Ideas come from sketching and experimentation, and Adobe Illustrator allows me to create patterns and build images quickly, where shapes come back into my sketchbook drawing and vice versa.” Whilst we’ll be keeping up with Rose’s new Lookbook updates as fast and thick as they come, we’ll also be hoping with the illustrator to see these creations in their rightful book form one day. “It’s really exciting to think about and to start manifesting,” she says.

GalleryRose Wong: Lookbook (Copyright © Rose Wong, 2022)

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Rose Wong: Lookbook (Copyright © Rose Wong, 2022)

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About the Author

Joey Levenson

Joey is a freelance design, arts and culture writer based in London. They were part of the It’s Nice That team as editorial assistant in 2021, after graduating from King’s College, London. Previously, Joey worked as a writer for numerous fashion and art publications, such as HERO Magazine, Dazed, and Candy Transversal.

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