Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Rene Gruau

Christian Dior are putting together a fantastic exhibition of the work of Rene Gruau, the prolific illustrator who became synonymous with the Dior Brand through illustrating the advertisements and posters, and a whole host of non-dior related work.

I'd never seen his work in depth before as somehow, he seems to have escaped my research and discoveries. But the more I've looked into his work, the more shocked I am at how seriously influential it clearly was.

I can see the work of David Downton and many other key illustrators within his style. His sparing use of line and shape manage to depict so much with so little; A quality I've always tried to attain within my own work, Gruau's depictions make me feel like I've discovered the true root of all influence within this style of work. I know that's not the case, as I'd be ignoring all art periods prior to Gruau, but it just feels like such a monumental discovery in terms of my own aesthetic.

The mens' illustrations in particular are a sharp contrast to the women's, showing Gruau wasn't only adept at the feminine curves and lines of women, but also representing men by using strong masculine compositions and ambiguous imagery.

Make sure you check out the exhibition starting 10th November, at Somerset House. Dior are also commissioning five contemporary UK illustrators (one of which is myself :-) ) to do a modern response to Gruau's work, which will be included in the exhibition and available in signed prints. More details on the official site.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Julie Verhoeven - A Bit of Rough

I don't know about you, but this totally went under my radar. God knows how, since i'm such a fan of Julie's work, and anybody will tell you it's not easy to get hold of 'Fat Bottomed Girls' or 'Gas Book 13', Julie's two book titles, both of which go for an absolute FORTUNE on the likes of amazon and ebay.

I bought Gas Book 13 as a present for a friend years ago, thinking i'll be able to get a copy of my own sometime. Could I? NO. The Gas 13 book is a treasure to behold, and Julie's talents, while praised to no end in the fashion industry, aren't as appreciated as much as they should be. Her abstract figures and skewed compositions are just incredible, women are usually always the central figures that reflect both a balance of beauty and feminism, yet hold a darker malevolent stirring. I was lucky enough to see her instore display at the Mulberry Store in Leeds while I was living there too, where the walls were covered in doodles and illustratons. I can't find any of it online, but I hope was well photographed and documented by someone.

Her new book, 'A Bit of Rough' IS available at Amazon, so grab a copy while you can, it includes a great selection of images and an essay by critic Francesca Gavin.

Here are some images both related and non related to the book, and also my favourite music video of all time, Mel G's Word Up, art directed by Verhoeven. Also check out a load of great photograph's of Julie's work on Flickr

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Masters of Illustration by David Downton

Downton has released a brand new book called 'Masters of Illustration'. Seeing as how I haven't actually seen the book yet, I can't really offer any original words or opinion, and I don't want to copy and paste off Amazon like every other soul seems to have done!!

To see a video on Vogue's site from the book launch click here. Some great interviews with the likes of Erin O'Connor, Carmen Dell'Orefice, Philip Treacy and Sophia from 10 mag discussing Downton's work and the importance of fashion illustration, and also a decent preview of some of the spreads

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Issue 2

Hey Guys! Some great illustrators featured for the second issue. It's with pride I can announce that Ricardo Fumanal will be the cover star and centrefold, with new illustrations coming up from his new exhibition and an interview.

Also, two incredibly successful illustrators give us their thoughts with Q&As, Jasper Goodall, and Si Scott!!

Male-Mode's Cillian Connor gives us this month's fanboy designer worship and talks about why Thom Browne is his ultimate designer, illustrator yet to be confirmed for that one!

I also put the spotlight on two major personal influences with illustrated articles, the late illustrator George Stavrinos, and an article on why Gattaca is the perfect film for a fashion audience.

We also have a potential interview with a legend, but I don't want to shoot myself in the foot by confirming it, just in case it doesn't happen. Stay Tuned!!