Sara Japanwalla is a fashion illustration artist who lives in Dubai. Originally born and raised in Scotland, Sara attended Leith School of Art, taking a foundation course in textiles, fine arts and sculpture. She also has a degree in fashion design and technology.
Sara’s love for fashion design comes from its rich history as an art form and, at the same time, how it changes so rapidly. Sometimes she loves sketching vintage fashion, and other times she draws dramatic ball gowns and luxury shoes, the kinds she wishes she could wear on a daily basis.
When Sara started fashion illustration, she had always loved the idea of working with high end, luxury brands. Therefore she began sketching illustrations relevant to the brands she wanted to target and posting her sketches on social media. She also attended fashion shows and illustrated what she saw. Eventually people began to take notice.
Sara’s illustrious list of clients includes Missoni, Ralph Lauren, Graff Diamonds, Alice and Olivia, Harvey Nichols and Bloomingdales, which features Sara’s designs on their little brown bags in a limited edition collaboration.
Sara is also known for her brilliant coffee cup doodles. A rather unconventional canvas, when contrasted with her environment in Dubai, lends to a contemporary and spontaneous feel and adds a quirky and fun look to her Instagram feed. She also enjoys incorporating food, real flower petals and interesting stationery.
Sara is constantly inspired and the sources are always changing, from observing people, to Pinterest, to fashion week. She is always on the lookout for fresh color schemes, which she might find in movies, sunsets and cities. She loves the energy of the city and its interesting patterns found in the architecture.
Dubai is the perfect blend of East and West. Although Sara was born and raised in Scotland, she has a Pakistani heritage, making Dubai the perfect fit for her—a city that never sleeps, where the women are always dressed to the nines. These women with charm and confident allure are another source of inspiration. One of Sara’s favorite things to do is to sit outside and smoke shisha while sketching and having a good meal.
In 2015, Sara was selected for Maserati and Ermenegildo Zegna’s “One of 100” creatives from around the world. The day she found out she was nominated, the doorbell rang and there was a man in a tuxedo and woman dressed in a ball gown at her door to present her with an award and invite her to a celebration in the upcoming week. Chosen artists were all featured in a limited edition coffee table book, and the world-renowned Italian talent Fabrizio Ferri photographed her. It was a surreal, Cinderella-like moment.
Currently, Sara is working on her own illustrated clothing label. Her goal is to combine art and fashion, to find a way to transform her paintings into eye-catching, wearable textile prints.
This month’s cover art is an illustration from Christian Dior’s Spring/Summer 2012 Haute Couture collection, one of her favorite collections ever.
To learn more about Sara Japanwalla visit www.sarajapanwalla.com.