Friday, 23 December 2011

David Riches

A few months back, I featured some sketches my mum did while she was on a 'Girl's Gardening Trip' to Morocco.

I hope I don't appear too self-absorbed... but  I don't really use this blog to feature any other people's work but my own! Saying that, I think family can defy this rule, because my parents are my definitely biggest inspiration!

What you see above is the website, Vintage Archive created by my Dad, David Riches and his work-partner, Harry Villiers. Their new online shop contains hand-picked beautiful vintage pieces, uncovered from the depths of India.

My Dad (David) like my Mum (Helen) is formally trained in Graphic Design, and has since founded his own design consultancy, Visible Edge which he has run for over 20 years.

Also like my Mum, my Dad has a knack for multi-tasking, and an impulse for adventure, leading him to dive into other complimentary creative fields. He currently working in property development, and pouring his passion and energy into Vintage Archive.

I probably don't tell him enough, but he really is a great role-model, and a massive help when it comes to my own work!

For these reasons I thought I would feature his new project on my blog... as well as the fact I truly love the stuff him and Harry are selling!

So take a look and uncover some vintage treasures yourself! 

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Nicole Farhi X Vic Riches Design Project

This is the final result of the collection I designed for Nicole Farhi, as part of the British Fashion Council Competition Kingston University has taken part in.

It was great to be able to work with the label's identity in mind, but also contribute my personal take on design in creating the collection!

As I tried to articulate in my concept video, the inspiration behind this project came from visual forms found in Kinetic Energy: Ned Kahn's Environmental Art, and various kite structures both fed into texture, colour, detailing, and silhouette development.

For the last week, I toiled one of the jacket designs in calico (pictured in the design development spread) which made the project even more enjoyable, and most importantly, REAL!

Monday, 12 December 2011

Red Magazine Photoshoot Collaboration!

I'm very happy to reveal part of the photoshoot for Red Magazine I collaborated on, with Stylist and Fashion Editor, Laura Fantacci! I was fortunate enough to meet Laura at a Press Day, which later lead to illustrating her wedding in Florence. It was a beautiful occasion, full of wonderful people, and I'm super happy it lead me to work on this project with Laura over the summer. The January Red Magazine issue is out now!

Monday, 28 November 2011


I have entered the Anne Valerie Hash 'Recreation' competition! Just click on this LINK or the picture above to Like my entry!! THANKS X

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Interview with La Mode Outré

Every so often I get the pleasant surprise of email asking me to take part in an interview, my most recent was for James Bent of La Mode Outre. It's always nice to discover when someone is interested in your opinions, especially from the other side of the world! You can read the original interview on James' Asian Street Style Fashion blog HERE.

Vic, please introduce yourself - who you are, where you're from, what you're currently doing.

I'm a Freelance Illustrator based in London, and in my final year studying Fashion Design at Kingston University. For the past year I've been doing commissions alongside my degree, which is a constant balancing act, but definitely been worth-while!

How have you come to be working with illustrations?

Some of my illustrations were featured on a few fashion blogs in Summer 2010, Style Bubble was great for exposure! I never intended on it becoming a 'job' to an extent... but praise can be very motivational, so I started taking illustration more seriously the more people said they liked my work. In early 2011 I illustrated my first book, 'Fashion Bites' which has now been published, this was a pivotal point to it becaming professional.

Would you say you have a definitive style and has that been hard to develop?

I don't think you can push yourself into a style that doesn't feel natural... finding your own way of drawing is an organic process, and happens gradually so I would never describe it as 'hard'. It should almost be unconscious. However, it's a challenge to constantly improve, while maintaining a recognizable 'signature' style. Commissions also require you to tailor your skills for the client, which can also be challenging!

Do you get the feel that illustration is becoming more popular these days?

Technology allows us to do so many things digitally, I am a big admirer of photography but it would be a shame if it completely replaced illustration, I don't think it ever will. I think illustration has been celebrated more in recent years, maybe it's a slight backlash against technology... it's hard to tell what the future will have in store for illustration and photography, but I think there's room for both of them.

Any pieces of work that you've completed that you're quite proud of?

It's funny because as soon as I've finished a project I can see all the ways I could have improved it, always too late of course! So I try not to dwell on the work I've completed. Saying this, I'm proud I illustrated a published book in the first year of being an illustrator, and all the travel opportunities my work has given me... I was commissioned to illustrate a wedding in Florence last summer for a magazine editor, and also did a lot of freelance work in San Francisco when I lived out there earlier this year too.

If you had to condense all the things you've learned into a single sentence, what would that be?

Always follow advice, and believe in yourself!

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

100 Ways to Wear A Kimono

I imagine all Fashion Designers find a personal way of working; a method to generate ideas to find their silhouette, almost like a ritual.

When I was doing my research on GustavoLins, he talked about how his starting point is always a kimono. (Pictured) Through its distortion there's probably about a zillion ways you can make it fall in a new and original way.

Personally, (and I get ripped for this) is my obsessive use of "Collapsed Shapes"... so much so I think I may be turning into a collapsed shape myself!

The other day I bought a cashmere Alexander McQueen cardigan... arguably kimono 'inspired', you can literally wear it a 100 ways!!!! Makes me feel slightly better about scraping out the cash for it, I feel like I bought a whole new wardrobe of cardigans.

Today I'm wearing my McQueen upside-down and back to front. A Human Collapsed Kimono shape! (Don't take the piss out of me in the library)

Monday, 14 November 2011

Nicole Farhi/Vic Riches Concept Video

This is a short video of my concept for designing a collection for Nicole Farhi. The project has been set by the British Fashion Council, and will go towards the Final Year at my BA (Hons) Degree at Kingston University, London!

This video has will not be used for official publication, and is merely a culmination of my research as a student.

The footage contains previous Nicole Farhi catwalk shows, Ned Kahn environmental art, 'Red Dot Design Award' imagery, Fibre Art, someone experimenting with magnets in ferrofluid, and a few other random pieces playing around with kinetic energy. Oh yeah, and the flashy 'kite' graphs are courtesy of Google Images.

Thanks to all for inspiring me!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Caffè in Café

Wasn't prepared for the potent effect too many coffees back to back would have in a Parisian Café... I'm surprised this drawing isn't more shakey.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Vogue España

My house-mate George is teaching herself how to speak Spanish! So lucky for me she has Spanish Vogue's at my disposal. It's always refreshing to flick through other international versions of this staple fashion magazine... I spent hours raking through the French archive in our library the other day. I'm sure many other fashion lovers/designers would agree on how interesting the striking variaton in international Vogues are... I found this Spanish Issue (where I illustrated from) to be packed with vibrant colour and eclectism... the Iris Apfel feature it had was very fitting.

Monday, 31 October 2011

Le Comptoir General, Paris, Part 2

This is an illustration I did of my new Parisian friends, Thomas and Sheryne in Le Comptoir General! It earned me a glass of wine. Because of my extremely low repertoire in foreign language, I've always found drawing a great way to meet people when I've traveled, this is an example of one of those occasions.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Anne Valérie Hash x Vic Riches Design Project

I'm writing this 45 minutes before my deadline for this project... I haven't been to sleep yet (it's 08:46am) but I've drunk so many forms of caffeine I don't think it's going to happen any time soon!

This is the end result of my Self-Initiated at Kingston University. As I mentioned, I got in touch with Théodora Blumkine, a designer at Anne Valérie Hash and went to visit the Fashion House in Paris last weekend! It was so inspiring, and really helped get my designs together.

As well as these boards, I also did fabric samples exploring different textures  and the idea of a Trompe L'oeil 'wet look'.

I'll add more to this later, but I'm too wired/delirious to concentrate. Adobe Illustrator is the best way to fry your brain over night.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Le Comptoir General, Paris, Part 1

In the short time I was in Paris, I tried to squeeze in as many things as possible; mostly thanks to my host Emile Roux! (pictured, left) on Saturday we spent most of the day in this place to dine/drink/generally hang out called Le Comptoir General, hidden off a main street but absolutely worth finding. (I did actually get lost on the way, but thankfully got rescued by Benoît on a motorbike)

After finally arriving, I was like a kid in a theme park! Between taking copious amounts photos and drawing my surroundings, I also made friends with a few my subjects, Thomas Dromer (Middle, with a shock of red hair) and Tom Miranda and his girlfriend, Sheryne (Tom, pictured far right, Sheryne in an illustration to come) now I have plenty of people to visit next time I'm in the city! This series of illustrations are tribute to all those who made my stay so enjoyable. Thank-You!

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Anne Valérie Hash in Paris

As part of my Self-Initiated work at Kingston University, we are required to design a collection for a Fashion Designer we are strongly influenced by in our own work!

I got in touch with Théodora, a designer from Anne Valérie Hash who agreed for me to continue with the project, and as a thank-you for her participation I did a series of illustrations inspired by the label, which are now sitting on Anne Valérie Hash's desk!

I have just come back from Paris this weekend, and had an amazing time visiting the Fashion House and meeting the design team at A-V-H. It was great to have them review my sketches and to be shown the extensive and beautiful archive of the house's collections!

To see how a Parisian Fashion House operates was an invaluable experience, and I'm so grateful to the people who made my trip possible.

As well as the rest of the A-V-H illustrations, look out for more Paris sketches and the collection I'm working on for the label... posted up soon!

Thursday, 6 October 2011


I didn't know Steve Jobs personally, but I'm pretty tight with my computer!

Thanks for making so many things possible, life quite simply wouldn't have been the same without you.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Ally Capellino Bag Competition

I'm so excited to announce that I was one of three winners of the Ally Capellino Bag Design Competition! Look out for my design on her shop bags next year (pictured above) and my brand new Ally Capellino bag I'm gonna nab with the help of the £200 voucher prize! To view the other winners, check out C.J Belson and Chantal Mayhew's websites!

Monday, 3 October 2011

GustavoLins Education Video

This is the third and final video I made this week about my three favourite designers. GustavoLins has been a pleasure to discover more about, and I'm looking forward to finding even more inspiration in his work! A special thanks to Giovanni Bolandrini of Vertice, London Men's Luxury Clothing Boutique in who agreed to be interviewed for the making of this video!

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Martin Margiela Education Video

Sorry I haven't posted in a while... I've been testing new waters, in FILM! This is part of my first Third Year Fashion Design project at Kingston University. We had to present our findings in some way, and as I've done more pamphlets in my life than you can shake a stick at, I thought I'd try something a bit more alien to me. It's a culmination of the research I gathered about one of my all-time favourite fashion designers, Martin Margiela. We have to research three designers... so look out for two more vids to come!

Friday, 23 September 2011

River Island Magazine Autumn '11 OUT NOW!!

It's been great to be able to work with the design team at River Island on their Autumn/Winter Magazine. Please pick up a copy in-store to see the rest of the illustrations!
I'm looking forward to the next project... watch this space!

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Kick Flare

When I left Old Navy in San Francisco I gave some of my fave illustrations as a thank-you to my co-workers. This one now belongs to Mera Chung, Senior Creative Director of Babies & Toddlers at Old Navy because it reminded me of her style!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Guinevere Part 1

After arriving back in the UK I have a huge back log of magazines waiting for me in my room... one of the fashion stories I fell in love with is the shoot with supermodel, Guinevere in i-D Winter 2012. So while I'm recovering from my jetlag and easing my way back to reality before traveling to London tomorrow, I decided to illustrate it! This is the first of three in the series.

Friday, 16 September 2011

My Octopus

Hi again! I've almost climbed out of my jetlag doom, and starting to function normally again... Pictured above is one of the graphics I was working on while I was out in The States, this octopus is an accurate description of how my brain feels this morning.

Copyright to Vic Riches at Old Navy 2012

Friday, 9 September 2011

Farewell Old Navy!

Today is my last day of working at Old Navy, San Francisco!! :( I had to prevent myself from sobbing into the INSANE array of home-made cakes, cheesy taco's and triple fried doughnuts that the Baby & Toddler team brought in for my leaving breakfast. Everyone's efforts have been SO MOVING! (my lovely desk neighbour Jenny has noticed my untamable addiction to Tootsie Roll lollies & has provided me with two HUGE bags of them for the flight home.)

I have had easily one of the best times of my life living here in San Francisco and working at Old Navy, so owe everyone at the company a huge THANK-YOU for having me... I really don't want to leave!!!!

Pictured above is of a card that I made for everyone in the team. Each season's colour palette at Old Navy is inspired by various themes, and everyone in Baby & Toddler agree that the Black & White Colour Story is a favourite... this explains my reason behind the card!
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