I spoke with twins Zoe Georgiou and Cherrie Snow about their London Fashion Week SS19 creations, as well as some of their greatest inspirations. Zoe is a freelance illustrator and visual content creator for fashion and beauty brands; Cherrie is a manicurist and nail artist, and certified Bio Sculpture Nail Technician.
To get started tell me a little about your illustrations Zoe, and your nail art Cherrie?
Z: At fashion college, my work was always so detailed, from the face and the hands to the folds in the fabric. In adult life, I don’t have time to be that meticulous, so my work has naturally evolved to be freer and more minimalistic. I like to leave something to the imagination for the viewer. I think less is more when it comes to anything and everything.
C: I take inspiration from the runway to recreate fashion nail art. It’s a way for me to discover how to achieve certain colours, textures and prints. It encourages me to keep up my freehand painting skills and challenges me outside the classic, one-colour comfort zone!
What was your favourite SS19 London Fashion Week look?
Z: The beautiful high-neck, foil print dress by Peter Pilotto. I would wear it to a wedding and on the beach!
C: The ’70s vibes of the Peter Pilotto, Dior’s ballet-esque beauty and Chanel’s seaside-chic.
And your favourite moment of LFW?
Z: I think Dior looked the most dramatic and breathtaking, but my heart is with Chanel because I’m a pearl girl and I love to be beside the seaside!
C: My favourite moment of the season has to be backstage at the Temperley show. The atmosphere was buzzing with excitement thanks to the ‘Temperley Muses’ who were chosen to represent the ethos of the brand; empowered, unique and creative. They included actresses Helen McCrory, Olga Kurylenko and Natalie Emmanuel. Musicians; Corinne Bailey Rae and Mary Charteris. As well as models; Sam Rollinson, Laura Bailey, a pregnant Arizona Muse and, the legendary fashion photographer, Ellen Von Unwerth.
Tell me a little about how you got to where you are now?
Z: As soon as I left school, I went to fashion college. It was the nineties when fashion felt so exciting; maybe it was because I was a student. Even so, we had Alexander Mcqueen, Björk, Kate Moss… I graduated from Middlesex University in 1997 and found myself working in fashion PR and marketing for ten years. While I was working, I studied design at London College of Communication in the evenings. In 2009, I became a freelance illustrator and graphic designer, because I wanted to be creative. After three years, I started working full-time in fashion e-commerce and design. Seven years later, I resigned to get back to doing what I loved best. I have no regrets about any part of my journey because I’ve learnt so much along the way which is helping me to run my business today.
C: I did an at-home nail art course for fun and enjoyed it so much that I decided to take it further and become a proper manicurist and nail artist. After further manicure and gel training, I got a job at renowned London nail art salons; WAH Nails before moving on to Imarni Nails. The salon environment really enabled me to hone my craft. I started doing editorial shoots on the side and began to build a portfolio and a good network of creatives. I’m now a full-time session manicurist working on fashion, beauty and jewellery shoots, as well as fashion shows.
What is your creation process?
Z: I’m inspired by fashion editorials in magazines, although now we have Pinterest and Instagram too! I mostly use ink and watercolour with lots of water to emulate freedom and to add movement. I often run a tap over my work. I’ll let the first layer dry, then go back and build on what’s there. The trick to minimal illustration is knowing when to stop. I also like to imagine there’s a breeze somewhere, so there’s usually stray strands of hair and flowing fabric. I think that adds to the essence of capturing a moment.
C: I’m always looking out for fashion looks, colour combinations, prints and textures I like. I save them on Pinterest or Instagram. I also look at Vogue online, under ‘Catwalk’. You can search seasons and/or designers and view all the looks in a collection. When I decide on what to recreate, I match up the colours with my nail polishes before starting with the base colour. I then work up in layers.
What do you love most about your drawing Zoe, and nail art Cherrie?
Z: I thought about this, and I think it’s the fact that there are no restrictions, no boundaries, that anything goes. It’s incredibly freeing.
C: I love the variety of work and meeting people from all over the world, but the final images are always the cherry on top! I also enjoy the freedom to do my own creative projects; such as writing and hosting nail art workshops.
Your favourite place to work?
Z: I usually paint at home, because everything’s there, but when I travel, I take an art kit with me. And if there’s a balcony, I love to draw there, first thing in the morning – it’s the perfect light.
C: My at-home nail studio is my favourite place to work! It has everything I need and I don’t have to lug my kit anywhere.
What has been your most interesting project to date?
Z: I’m probably yet to create it! Although, I did enjoy seeing my illustration on a perfume bottle in Harvey Nichols.
C: Editorial shoots are always interesting and creative. The locations and set designs are just as fascinating to me as the beauty and fashion. I’ve shot in big manor houses with stuffed bears, amongst amazing grounds, as well as a derelict hotel with drug addicts living inside. That was pretty grim to see.
Who / what is your greatest influence?
Z: Julie Verhoeven was the illustrator who first inspired me to draw when I was 16 in fashion college. She taught us on Tuesdays, and once bought her portfolio in for us to see. I remember she would draw on any scraps of paper like a brown paper bag. I was so inspired because I didn’t know you could be an illustrator, let alone draw on something other than a sketchbook. I was sad, but not that surprised when she left in the middle of the year to work with Martin Margiela.
C: Fashion is my greatest influence. it’s never ending.
Your favourite artist Zoe, and nail artist Cherrie?
Z: It’s a close one between David Downton and René Gruau. But I also love Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. I’m so pleased there’s a Klimt/Schiele exhibition opening at the Royal Academy of Arts.
C: Betina Goldstein for her minimalism and Bakeneko because she uses Bio Sculpture Gel as I do.
Current favourite designer?
Z: I adore Isabel Marant, her kind of western look with a hint of the eighties thrown in. And Marni is always a favourite for its heritage, bohemian prints.
C: I love Miu Miu for their feminine, cute-yet-cool, retro style. I just bought some Miu Miu sunglasses and they make me feel like Sharon Stone in Casino! In terms of nail art inspiration, Dolce & Gabbana’s colourful fruit and florals are great to paint.
Where can we see your work?
Z: On Instagram @zoedrawsfashion and I’ll be exhibiting my Originals at TRIPP Gallery, 59 Amwell Street, London, EC1R 1UR. 4-10 Dec.
C: In the current issues of Glamour Germany Beauty Book, Glamour Brazil, Harrods, Hunger, Country & Town House, Make, Exit and Tatler UK. Also in current campaigns for Behind the Mac: Grimes, AllSaints and Vivienne Westwood accessories.
And now the important ones!
Z: A very specific pale, silvery blue.
C: Nude pink, yellow and gold.
What are you drinking?
Z: Apple cider vinegar diluted in water – it’s a bit like kombucha tea! And Golden Glow, a turmeric blend from Wunder Workshop. I don’t drink alcohol or caffeine.
C: Collagen Shots by Rejuvenated. They are great for the skin, full of anti-oxidants and vitamins, 100% natural and sugar-free! I also make my own ginger shots with my juicer to combat colds etc.
What are you eating?
Z: My favourite food is Italian food, the simpler and fresher, the better.
C: I mostly eat vegetables and rice. I’ve been a vegetarian since I was 14. I’ve been trying to curb my sweet tooth and I’ve found a great low-sugar chocolate called Chocologic which contains 60% less sugar, of which is naturally derived.
What are you listening / dancing to?
Z: Yann Tiersen. He always creates the most beautiful soundtrack to life.
C: When I’m working in my studio I listen/watch Tiny Desk, Like a Version and Colors on YouTube where they have live performances from musicians; My favourites at the moment are Jorja Smith, Childish Gambino, Daniel Caesar and H.E.R.
What are you reading?
Z: I haven’t read a fiction book for a while, because I love to study informational books. My latest read is the new QI book: 2,024 QI Facts to Stop You in Your Tracks. Now I want to read them all! I’ve also just bought an EVO journal which I’m saving for the new year. You have to answer a questionnaire to find your brain type before you decide on which journal to buy. The thinking is that we all do things differently, which I find so interesting! There are four brain types covered: Alchemist, Oracle, Architect and Explorer. I’m an Oracle.
C: Our Mum buys us books like Lagom, The Little Book of Hygge and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up which I like to dip in and out of. I’m currently dipping into The Things You Can See, Only When You Slow Down.
What are you watching?
Z: I’m enjoying One Pound Meals on IGTV, I love cooking food with simple ingredients, and I want it to be ready fast because I can’t wait to eat it!
C: I love watching TV and films! My current TV guilty pleasures are Bake Off and Strictly. I’ve always loved watching dancing. My daughter, Arizona has danced since she was 5 years old. She’s now 17 and an amazing hip-hop dancer. Actually, I’m watching the second series of Hip-Hop Evolution on Netflix. I also just watched Stronger, with Jake Gyllenhaal. he’s such a great actor. Oh, and I love anything with Bill Murray in.
What are you learning?
Z: I’m still learning to draw! I always want to improve and find new ways to do things. I honestly believe if you’re not learning, you’re not living. The nerd in me also loves a new piece of software. At the moment, I’m learning about chatbots.
C: I’m trying to learn Spanish via Duolingo.
How do you relax?
Z: I do yoga almost every day, and I like to make sure I learn something new.
C: On days off, I like to do yoga at home or run along the seafront where I live in Southend. I might do some nail art or my own nails in my studio. Make some healthy food like a veggie, Thai curry and then snuggle up and watch a film with my husband, Jake.
Who are you following on instagram?
C: Mostly other creatives in the industry, designers and magazines. Instagram is very much a business platform for me.
Favourite place in the UK?
Z: The V&A, I love the exhibitions, the shop, the cafe and the building itself.
C: We were bought up in Leigh-on-Sea – I still live nearby and I love it. There’s no place like home! There’s also a beautiful house our whole family stay at in Colchester with amazing grounds and views. Zoe and I have another younger sister and two brothers. We love spending time all together. And finally, I’ve always thought that London is one of the best cities in the world. There are so many great things to do and see. The Southbank is a favourite place of mine, especially in the summer.
Fashion Illustrations: Zoe Draws Fashion
Zoe is currently exhibiting her work at: TRIPP Gallery, 59 Amwell Street, London, EC1R 1UR. 4-10 Dec.