Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Diana Vreeland, the Illustrator's Muse

Mel Odom, Portrait of Ms Vreeland, 1980s.

With the possible exception of Anna Piaggi, the appearance of no other fashion editor or matriarch in fashion has had quite the influence on illustrators and artists like the figure of Diana Vreeland. Former editor in chief of American Vogue, Ms Vreeland's symbolic profile, one that can be reduced to just a nose bump and cigarette holder is one so recognizable and so emblematic of an era that many continue to be inspired to transcribe her image to this day. 
The results shown here by a significant roster of artists from past and present interestingly all portray Vreeland's iconic appearance consisting of black clothing, pale skin and red make-up, proving Vreeland's self-constructed image has equally immortalized itself alongside her leadership.

Mel Odom on the story behind his portrait:

"It was done in the 1980s as a thank you to Ms Vreeland for the giant signature she wrote in my copy of Allure. I did it overnight and ran it to her building the next day after I got the book. I did it so fast that years later when it was auctioned off with her other things I had forgotten even having done it. When the one-woman show about Ms Vreeland, "Full Gallop" was running in NYC I went to see it with friends. My drawing (actually a copy) was framed and hanging on the set of her apartment. I spoke with the stage manager who let me go on stage after the show for a closer look. He told me that if it was hanging on the set it had also been hanging in her home the same way, as the set was a precise copy of the real thing. I was thrilled!" Mel Odom

David Downton, Personal Work, 2013

"I think she appeals to artists so much because she was self-invented. Larger than life. In a sense she had already done the drawing. I would have loved to have met her..." David Downton

Richard Haines for What I Saw Today, 2011.

Richard Haines for What I Saw Today, June 2011.

Zoe Taylor, Too Much Night, Syntax Editions 3, 2010.

Diana Vreeland looks at a drawing with Cecil Beaton, 1965.

Jean Paul Goude, Lady Diana Vreeland, 2015.

Kenneth Paul Block, 1967.

Kenneth Paul Block, year unknown.

Mats Gustafson, 1982.
Antonio Lopez, year unknown.

Joe Eula, year unknown.

Richard Bernstein, Interview Magazine, December 1980.

Richard Ely, 1989.

Cecil Beaton, 1954.

Cecil Beaton
Diana Vreeland, The Modern Woman; The Bazaar Years 1936-1963. Rizzoli Publishing, 2015. 

René Bouché, Date Unknown

(t/y Mel Odom, David Downton)

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Rosie McGuinness

The fluidity and form of Rosie McGuinness's oeuvre of work is one that marries both the approach to classical fashion drawing, conjuring the lines of illustrators like Rene Bouche and Kenneth Paul Block to a far more contemporary vision of style, channelled through her selective poses and muse of woman.

Emitting a sense of serenity; Rosie's women are narrow and elegantly dressed in a way that imply a lifestyle surrounded by good taste. Her figures usually appears to have a paired back appearance with often centre parted hair and features not dissimilar from figures in the industry like Jamie Bochert and Phoebe Philo. Her selection of muted paper tones and languid instant brush marks serve to build this timeless visual.

 "Illustration for me is a hugely satisfying creative process, something to concentrate on with instant results.
Drawing by hand, the quality and strength of line is important to me – as is an overall balance to the page – posture and pose need to be correct and grounded, which can take a number of drafts. I have tried tracing over images to alter or correct a line or angle – but I almost always find that the initial free drawn line or mark is best, the most expressive, and that this quality can not be falsified or recreated exactly."

- excerpt from a 2012 interview with slashstrokemagazine.com

Images from Instagram and rosiemcguinness.com

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Gill Button

Mentioned recently as one of Dazed & Confused's 'illustrators to follow', the last two years have been nothing short of a meteoric rise for artist Gill Button, whose work is currently gracing the cover of WWD magazine, billboards across America to promote the new season of Transparent, and in a new catalogue by Dries Van Noten documenting an extensive collaboration with Dries (including hand painting 1200 show invites for AW16/17 and exclusive artworks for the brand which in turn inspired the show's make-up). A favorite of Alessandro Michele, Button was selected by Gucci's creative director to be a part of an online campaign to launch their blooms and Caleido pattern by interpreting them in her own distinct way.

Much of Gill's work post-graduation (Kingston, 1995) and pre-instagram era was created digitally, with clients including Vanity Fair, British Airways and The Times newspaper. It was her blog in 2014 Sketchy Men that was to become the beginning of her exposure for hand rendered artwork.  Her oil paintings, traditionally a medium associated more with fine art than illustration (and great proof of the continuing overlap of both fields) are recognizable for their portrait focus on major figures in the fashion industry.

Be sure to check out Gill's instagram.