The exhibition will highlight the extraordinary talents of the ‘masters’ of fashion illustration working between post-war 1940s and the 1970s by unveiling an assemblage of previously unseen, original works from private collections. Drawing on Style will also showcase a series of contemporary fashion illustrations presented by SHOWstudio, Nick Knight’s award-winning fashion website.
Drawing on Style will include illustrations by the renowned artists Rene Gruau (1909-2004), Carl 'Eric' Erickson (1891-1958), Antonio Lopez (1943-1987), Rene Bouche (1905-1963), and, exhibiting for the very first time, works by the celebrated American contemporary fashion illustrator and Dior Beauty’s current artist-in-residence, Bil Donovan.
These original drawings adorned the covers and pages of iconic magazines including Harper’s Bazaar and Town & Country and captured the grace and sophistication of Dior, Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, and many other fashion powerhouses.
Alongside Gray M.C.A, SHOWstudio will present a series of contemporary works by fashion illustrators including Gill Button, Blair Breitenstein, and Fahren Feingold. The works will illustrate collections as recent as AW16 from Valentino, Louis Vuitton, Vivienne Westwood, and many more.
Each work selected for Drawing on Style is a masterpiece of technical skill and provocative flair that illustrates the subtle yet dynamically diverse beauty of fashion in each decade. Fashion illustration has influenced over half a century of style and helped to build and enhance the reputation of the great houses of couture, and these drawings are immediately recognisable to generations of fashion followers.
Connie Gray, Fashion Curator for Gray M.C.A, says: “Today’s contemporary illustrators owe a great debt to these modern masters of the genre who provided their inspiration. The original works graced the pages of all the most influential publications including Condé Nast & Harper’s Bazaar, and are now increasingly being recognised as a key school of twentieth century art, recording the elegance, grace and style of a generation. Without doubt they have at last earned their long deserved place in both fashion history and people’s hearts.”