Thursday, 6 March 2014

Milan AW14 by Laura Laine for Showstudio.

As part of Showstudio's ongoing collaborations with fashion illustrators on their show reportage, Laura's project sees her intrerpret the highlights of Milan's shows, continuing with her trademark dramatic limber and exaggerated female forms.




Jil Sander


Giorgio Armani


Saturday, 22 February 2014

Flashback: Mats Gustafson for GQ, 1999

A rare menswear editorial by the master of silhouette, Mats style is as strong as it is ever here, his ability to sculpt 3d forms out of ink still unsurpassed. It's only a shame there aren't more menswear works from him (to my knowledge)!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

Flashback - Patrick Nagel 'The Tomorrow Show', Playboy, 1980

It simply just doesn't get more 80s Americana than Patrick Nagel!

During it's heyday period, Playboy regularly commissioned Nagel along with illustrators Mel Odom and George Stavrinos, amongst others. Rarely seen, here Nagel illustrates menswear predicted looks by designers for the decade that was to follow.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Tony Viramontes - Bold, Beautiful And Damned

The first time I saw the work of Tony Viramontes, I was flicking through the book 'Fashion Illustration Today' (Nicholas Drake, 1987) in my college years. Initially finding it a rather dated looking title as a young student, it had my friend at the time scoffing at it's distinctly 80s vibe. Despite her completely failing to see the appeal, it still holds up today in showcasing work from the most influential illustrators of that era, a lot of whom are still working today.

Page from Fashion Illustration Today - Nicholas Drake

It was his studies of Cyril Brule, a male model (now the founder of Viva Model Management) that drew me in initially, admittedly for their sexual virility. A broad topless male model, strong upward hair, pouting, square jaw, hidden behind shades, nipples fully realized. It came across as the idealistic 80s fashion pin up, an almost Dolph Lungren-esque character in high braces and voluminous 80s pinstripe Versace trousers. In essence, it was this energetic feel to his work that encapsulated his entire visual language. Rarely do any of his works have a composed or poised feel to them. Everyone is in motion or dramatic stance, they have harsh make up, contorted faces, bold looks, big shoulders. His work was completely definitive of the 80s, and this strength reflects in the fact that the book has since been reissued with Tony's work on the cover, and extra works added.

Whilst that image stayed in my mind over time, the work of others such as Thierry Perez and George Stavrinos took over my attention for a while at university, and it wasn't until a later date that I fully began to understand the integrity and importance of his work, rediscovering it in different paths and places, and researching into the Buffalo period / Ray Petri era of The Face magazine, that the dots started to join up. His vibrant mix of photography and lines and colour signified that this was the work of someone who wasn't just utilizing one medium to express his vision, and had he had lived on longer, would clearly have gone on to accomplish greater heights.

With a foreword by none other than Jean Paul Gaultier, a self-confessed fan, this book addresses Tony's range of work in one dedicated publication for the first time. Not just a member of the Buffalo period and the odd cd cover as I knew him to be from my vague research (I say odd, it doesn't get much bigger than producing the iconic album artwork for Janet Jackson - Control) Tony produced a vast amount of work that over time had been placed in the hands of collectors, archived at fashion houses, or shipped back to his family home in Los Angeles, later to be uncovered by Dean Rhys Morgan, the author, and brought back to public consciousness with this title. The book's largest chapter (72 pages) focuses solely on his portrayal of the designs of high fashion's key players. Sprouse, Montana, Mugler, Yves Saint Laurent and Valentino, amongst others, all seen through his glorious vision. Other chapters focus on his portrayal of his male and female muses, including a very young Janice Dickinson, Rene Russo, Isabella Rosellini and Paloma Picasso.

For an illustrator like myself, the main draw in looking at Tony's work is simply the raw energy that continues to inspire, regardless of it's era defining imagery and fashions. For a fan born in a generation that was not around at the time of his work, and did not have any real major access to discovering it further beyond the realm of internet postings and old copies of The Face, this book is a dream. It's a joy to see his illustrations up close in full print, and all the behind the scenes polaroids, sketches and interviews that accompany. If anyone is to research the history of fashion illustrators, to neglect the work of Tony Viramontes would be an absolute crime.

For previous posts on Tony Viramontes, click here

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Richard Kilroy - Lee Roach SS14, for A Magazine Curated By

Original Text by Dan Thawley, for

On the eve of the London Collections: Men AW14-15, A Magazine is proud to present an exclusive suite of illustrations by the British illustrator Richard Kilroy featuring key silhouettes from Lee Roach's SS14 show. Roach has proven a key player in the London scene over the past seasons, carving a distinctly minimal aesthetic of rigorously cut tailoring in an austere palette - foregoing the often theatrical adornment of his peers to focus on functional, stripped-down garments.

Model: Chris Ulyatt @ Supa Model Management
Hair: Lothar Weissman @ Vidal Sassoon
with thanks to Dalston Pier Studios

Monday, 9 December 2013

Martin Margiela Exhibit at Showstudio

Showstudio's collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela sees them continuing to champion a select group of illustrators within fashion, most of whom have previously worked with Showstudio before, but adding one or two more new names to the line up.

The exhibition, themed around Margiela's new range of fragrances, also includes a small selection of stunning couture pieces, even though personally for me these were forgotten about in my desire to view the new works up close.

Nick Knight described the line up as "twenty one of the most exciting illustrators in fashion right now", and set the brief of the exhibition around memories that the fragrance evokes within each different illustrator. Some translations are more literal than others, the result being a great mix that showcases the possibility within illustration to consider a range of possible outcomes, be it literal, figurative or surreal.

The original works are on view at Showstudio, 19 Motcomb Street, London, and available to purchase through their website.

 Amelie Hegardt - 'Scan 368'

(Centre) Stephen William Doherty - 'Untitled'

Valerie Servais - 'Un Peu D'Air'

 Fiona Gournlay - 'Submerged'

 Helen Bullock - 'Night Time Lilac'

Richard Gray - 'Vienna'

Tobie Giddio - 'Boys In The Trees'

Laura Laine - 'The Gardener'
Tara Dougans - 'The Moon On A Pedestal'

Showstudio's press notes:

Maison Martin Margiela's SHOWcabinet exhibition is centred around memory. It explores the pivotal role of scent in triggering reminiscence and features Margiela's Replica range of fragrances. Opening 28 November, Margiela and SHOWstudio have created an installation to examine this olfactory manner of recollection.
As part of the exhibition, a collection of illustrators were asked to create an original drawing that depicts a personal memory prompted by one of the Maison's Replica perfumes. The artworks are exhibited in a bespoke display case mimicking the installation of relics in museums. Instead of tracing a history through tangible objects, these drawings are ethereal traces of moments past. Accompanying the drawings will be a perfume bar to sample the scents, a selection of haute couture pieces and selected objects from Line 13 associated with the concept of memory.
The artists featured in the exhibition are Richard Gray, Piet Paris, Cathrine Raben Davidsen, Laura Laine, Claire Barrow, Tobie Giddio, Valerie Servais, Kukula, Rei Nadal,  Tara Dougans, Amelie Hegardt, Helen Bullock, Fiona Gourlay, Stephen Doherty, Jowy Maasdamme, Josie Hall, Conrad Roset, Quentin Jones, Jo Ratcliffe, Neza Agnes Momirski, Alexandra Levasseur