Walk through Mila Gilson's imaginative, Narnia wardrobe of fashion illustration


by Patrick Morgan 

When did you first get into drawing?

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember.

I’ve always loved books so as a child many of my drawings drew inspiration from the stories I loved: images of foxes and other animals – all of course elegantly dressed!

Why did you choose to make fashion part of your inspiration?

I was born and brought up in the fashion capital Milan. Fashion week and the fashion district around Via Monte Napoleone are an integral part of the city – so I suppose it was natural to bring that into my work.

What is your particular working day as a creative?

As a busy medical student at  Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität I make a point of always cutting out time to draw, often in the evening.

What tools do you use when creating your images?

Although I love being surrounded by books, moodboards and beautiful patterns, I can be very streamlined in my creative process. Various traditional mediums

"I’ve enjoyed experimenting with in the past, such as watercolours and collages, I now replicate in my digital work - so all I really need is Procreate for iPad and my sofa (a Chai Latte would also be great!)."

Who and what has influenced you over the years as an artist?

Milan ( La Scala, Armani Silos…) and especially the Milanesi.

Exhibitions: I’ve always loved going to exhibitions - they’ve been a constant stream of creative energy.

Art books: Because I love storytelling I’m always drawn to books on illustration and costume design for the theatre and ballet. Christian Lacroix’s work for the stage is unbeatable!

What advice do you have for younger artists looking to be part of this industry?

I’ve spent a lot of time on very detailed portraits – a bit like old-fashioned drawing from the model- it really helped me to train my eye and improve my technique – so I’m glad I put those hours in!

What are you drawing today? Music are you listenig to? Books are you reading? Favourite artist/designer at the moment?

I like to get back to drawing more realistically at regular intervals - and that is what I’m up to right now. Of course I’m also gathering inspo for the Fida awards 2021! I love patterns and bright colours so an artist I really admire is Matisse .

"A book on fashion I can recommend is The Glass of Fashion by Cecil Beaton. At the moment we are all in need of a bit of escapism - I’m thoroughly enjoying the novel Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts, set in India."