Monday, October 4, 2010

Tribute : Fashion Illustration, the Lost and Found Art

Cédric Rivrain
  Life is full of coincidences. While I was looking for material for my article on illustration, I realized that my last follower was incidentally one ! His name is David McGrievey ( ) and his old-fashioned drawings have illustrated W, Glamour, Spanish Vogue and Bloomingdale. Oh my, that's a follower I'm proud to have. I am always very humble in front of illustrators, because drawing is an art I adore, I would love to master. That's why I wanted to make an article on this under-appreciated genre.
Once upon a time, when cameras didn't exist, magazines used illustrators to recreate trendy outfits for their readers. I was the time of elegant silhouettes, Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Jacqueline Kennedy, and other "black and white" icons.
David Downton - Lauralaine
 During these hours of glory, the great names were Rene Gruau, most famous for the adds of Miss Dior perfume and Rouge Baiser lipstick, Joe Eula, Yves Saint Laurent's illustrator, Tony Viramonte, Antonio Lopez, a regular of Vogue, Elle and Harper's Bazzar, and the famous Jacqueline Bissett. But, with the development of technicity, photography became almighty, and the illustrations were relegated to the horoscope pages or to art classes teens. But, now, Fashion tries to find itself, and is experimenting through art. In spite of digital art, fashion illustration insinuates itself back into the pages of the magazines.
 The new generation is torn between old-world aesthetics and modern lines. David Downton ( ) prefered 50s women, with their hats and tiny waists.
Others are mixing academic drawing with modern designs, such as Frenchies Cédric Rivrain ( ), inspired by models such as Kate Moss, Monsieur Qui ( ), who invade streets with melancholic beauties, or ëlodie ( ) and her gorgeous women.
Monsieur Qui
 But, illustration can overtake photography by its power to show what eyes can't see, and only imagination can. So, they are numerous to follow the path of contemporary art, and to offer us silhouettes that comes from the universe of dream and fantasy. My favourite among us is definitely Finnish artist Lauralaine ( ) and her tiny feet/big hair figures, which are closer to poetry than anything. She took magazines by storm, and I hope to see more of her art in the future.
Petra Dufkova
In order to continue this travel in the world of beauty at the point of a pencil, I suggest you to look at :
- Book 100 Years of Fashion Illustration, Cally Blackman
- Nina Borowski's article
- Illustrator Sophie Griotto's website
- Illustrator Petra Dufkova's artwork
- Illustrator Akari Inoguchi's gallery
- Illustrator Cécile Mancion's blog
- The Fashion Week Illustrée, French website


  1. Whaouh !!! Thanks I'm so glad to feature in this list of illustrators ! David Downtown, Laura Laine, Cédric Rivrain are my favorites illustrators ! Thanks again !

  2. Samantha,
    Thanks for mentioning me in your article and linking to my blog. One of my first posts is about the late great Antonio Lopez. I had the honor of being his assistant in NYC during the Studio 54 days.
    I think you may find the post amusing, this link will take you directly to the Antonio post...

    X David, NYC

  3. You're welcome, David. That's such a chance you've had ! Nice post.


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