Through the Looking Glass with Pippa McManus

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If & when you ever ask me who in Perth are my favourite *fashion* people, you can pretty much guarantee that Pip will top the list.  Genuinely friendly with an ear-to-ear grin & a wardrobe to be jealous of, this local favourite has her own unique presence in the realm of fashion illustration.  Check out today's TTLG interview after the jump to find out more about lefanch's perennial girl-crush.

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Escolando, 2012

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Roll call:

I am Pippa McManus and I am a fashion illustrator.
So basically I draw and paint girls I want to look like and clothes I want to wear.

Can you tell us a bit about how you started fashion illustrating?

I started in high school making exercise book after exercise book of fashion designs and also girls wearing my own designs.  Then I moved onto collaging catwalk looks then drawing the catwalk looks.  I found a ‘magazine’ I had made in a sketch book the other day which was a combination of all of the above - designing, drawing and collaging with the odd article here and there *cringe*!  My fashion illustration lecturer Robin Alexander really got me on the road to realising I could make my passion a career.

Name a few influences on your artistic style:

Well I try not to look to other artists for style; I believe that is truly something you have to work at on your own.  If you are a visual person you tend to be influenced by other people's work, so I look to fashion design instead of art and I chat to the gorgeous people at Jackson’s about what medium I should try next.  It really is something you have to work at solidly by yourself and I have learnt that through the mistakes you make whilst finding your way; they are sometimes the things that end up defining your style.

You use quite a mixed set of media to create your visually stunning pieces - do you have a personal favourite?

Yes, I love a whole array of mediums!  That’s why I cant choose just one!  I usually start a painting with acrylics and once I have finished filling in all of the acrylic bits I move onto charcoal.  At this point I don’t like the piece at all - it’s usually too flat and boring.  By the time I have finished the charcoal sections I like it a bit better.  Then I add the spray-paint and paint pens and that’s where I immediately like the piece!

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From Claremont Quarter to Mary Katrantzou, your work has been snapped up like hotcakes! 
What has been your most memorable experience so far with fashion illustrating?

It’s usually the last thing I have done which excites me most!  But I do look back on the Mary Katrantzou competition and am still blown away; that was definitely an incredible career moment.  I learnt that year that if you want something ask for it.  I had only won tickets to the show but as I was emailing with the PR department I asked if there was any chance of coming backstage to draw before the show, and they said yes!  So worth asking.

Any hints on when your next exhibition will be?

It will be in April at the Friends Of Leon Gallery in Surry Hills in Sydney.  We are still working out the details but it will run along side Sydney Fashion Week so I would love it to be somewhat based around Australian fashion.  It would be amazing to get the models, designers and stylists there. Oooh and the big fashion magazines!

Pippa's winning Mary Katrantzou piece (left) & features from her MK runway magazine - images from facebook
With Josh Goot earlier this year, who kept one of Pippa's sketchbooks at the Ricarda runway!

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Name 3 people who influence your personal style:

1. Sophia Amoruso.  Nasty Gal’s founder.
She is an amazingly influential entrepreneur and I love that she wears all the Nasty Gal stuff with high-end labels.

2. Poppy Lissiman.  Store owner and designer.
I always say if I could have anyone’s wardrobe it would be Pop’s.  But Pop would still wear it better.

3. Giovanna Battaglia.  Editor and stylist.
Every time I see her I am blown away by everything about her.  Modern Italian glamour but so universal.

What is one interesting quirk about you?

I don’t drive?  Not very interesting to those who give me lifts all the time though, sorry guys!

Your favourite kind of tea?

I have just started drinking tea, like 2 months ago.  I never got it before?!  But I have still never had a traditional Earl Grey or Breakfast type tea, only Twining’s Camomile, Honey and Vanilla infusions tea.

A sketch of yourself in your favourite outfit: (our favourite part of every interview - especially this one!)

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I can just hear S going "erhhmergerdddd!!!!" over P's all-Valentino wedding outfit right now. 
#supergirlcrush  #totallyNOTlame #ohgawdhashtags

A huge thank you to Pippa who took time out of painting commissions to do our e-interview!
We recommend checking out her blog as well as her facebook which has all the info about commissions, up and coming exhibitions, and general shenanigans that are going on in Pippa's life.  Check out the photostream and you won't be disappointed.

xx T


  1. Love her, great interview and pictures, that wedding dress looks divine.
    xx Jenelle

    1. Yeah, how amazing to wear Valentino on your big day! Steph xx

  2. Of course her sketch is the best one! I love randomly finding pieces of her are around the city.

    The Fashann Monster

  3. Gorgeous interview, such a fan of Pippa's work!



    1. Thanks for popping by :) we love her work too!

      Steph x

  4. Great interview! I am a huge fan of her works and she is an inspiration for my art & growth.



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