Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Issue 4 coming soon. . . .

The new issue will finally be available mid February, but I couldn't resist teasing some of the fantastic new work available in the issue. Including new work by myself and five of my favourite illustrators who I'm inspired by, issue 4 is the first of Decoy to be in a true magazine format.

I'm also incredibly grateful that the prestigious Fashion Illustration Gallery (F.I.G) will be announcing details of the issue once it is available, alongside showcasing some of the works on their site, so stay tuned. For now, have fun guessing who the illustrators are . . .

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Rene Gruau, Portraits Of Men, by Assouline Publishing

9½ X 12 IN – 24 X 30.5 CM

I've been rather late on posting about this one. I wasn't even aware of the book until I saw it on Mr Porter two weeks ago, but apparently it has been out since November(?!). Assouline are known for being a brilliant and well respected publisher, so I'm not quite sure as to why this book has not been promoted more. Maybe I have just been living under a rock the last two months, buried in work, I don't know.

That aside, it's fantastic to finally see a dedicated book to Gruau's menswear illustrations. When I was asked to respond to his mens work for the Dior Illustrated exhibit at Somerset House, only a little over two years ago, even then I found it difficult to find much of it online. Since the exhibit and also one including Gruau's works at the Design Museum, it completely revitalised interest, culminating in considerable amounts of his work appearing online, frequent referencing in press, and a selection of his mens illustrations exhibited at the Paul Smith art store in London, put together by F.I.G in collaboration with Paul Smith. As I have yet to physically see the book to review it properly, I've included all the available spreads that are shown online along with a few press images (my copy is in the post). Of course, much of this is in the older post I made on Gruau's male imagery a while back, but there still manages to be some work that is fresh to my eyes.

I should point out, ALL books on Gruau seem to sell out quickly and accrue in value quickly too, so if you are thinking of purchasing, don't hesitate too long. . . .

Accompanying press release from Assouline:

Primarily known for his colorful and vivacious portrayals of women, René Gruau revolutionized the concept of masculinity in fashion imagery and advertising from the 1950s to the ’80s, depicting the modern casual, confident man with humor and sex appeal—including images of partial male nudity that were considered shocking at the time.

“Since the 1940s, the name of René Gruau has been associated with the world of fashion. Particularly affiliated with the house of Dior, for which he created some of the most iconic images in the history of fashion and beauty, Gruau also lent his unparalleled style to some of the most creative magazines of the era and to numerous advertising campaigns. Beginning in the early 1960s, he revolutionized the image of the modern man, who he depicted with a mix of humor, sex appeal, ease, and elegance. In 1956, he offered his creative services to Christian Dior for his “Dior pour hommes” collection. His work led him to meet the most avant-garde fabric manufacturers of that time, such as the house of Dormeuil, who were at the forefront in developing new materials. This previously unpublished work, taken from several of Gruau’s personal sketchbooks, is present in this book for the first time—a true lesson in fashion history.”

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Michelle Dockery for Vanity Fair, February 2012, by David Downton

Text originally by Laura Jacobs for Vaniy Fair. Styled by Jessice Diehl.
It's all in the gaze. "She thinks before she speaks," says actress Michelle Dockery of Lady Mary Crawley, the character she plays on Masterpiece's hit Downton Abbey. "From the get-go mary has always been someone who thinks." The same can be said of Dockery, who recently spent an afternoon at Claridge's in London with the celebrated illustrator David Downton, master of the light touch that goes deep. "The sense I had of Michelle," says Downton, "is of somebody that is very intelligent and very 'watchful' ... no, 'watchful' is the wrong word. She's alice to life, to what's going on."
For three hours the artist sketched, the actress wore Givenchy and Balenciaga and Oscar de la Renta, and the two “Downtons” talked while a face was captured. Regal in the cheekbones, between-the-wars in her aloof beauty and that arched eyebrow, it’s a face that can go icy in an instant or warm like the dawn. “She has that thing of being classic and contemporary,” explains Downton, “that very strange mix where she looks at home, at ease, in period. But there’s also a glimmer, a spark.”