New Exhibition Celebrates The Glamour of Fashion Illustration

by SHOWstudio on 8 September 2021

The annual Drawing On Style exhibitions pay testament to the art of the fashion illustration, and return this year to focus on iconic moments in fashion history.

The annual Drawing On Style exhibitions pay testament to the art of the fashion illustration, and return this year to focus on iconic moments in fashion history.

The annual exhibition, Drawing on Style, held by Gray M.C.A, returns to London Fashion Week this September. Before the photograph, came the illustration. It brought fashion to the masses, and adorned the covers and pages of style bibles such as Vogue throughout the first half of the 20th century. Even after the advent of the camera, fashion illustration lived on, and the post-war era birthed masters such as René Gruau and Antonio Lopez. At SHOWstudio, each season we ask an artist to interpret the shows, firmly believing in the power of the medium to record and communicate fashion. The Gray M.C.A gallery specialise in uncovering the great illustrators of fashion times past, whilst also discovering the talents of today.

David Downton, Carmen Dior, oil pastel on coloured paper with ink and gouache overlay, signed, 2000

Held in Cromwell Place, London, Drawing on Style will feature both contemporary artists David Downton, Ali Mahdavi, Gladys Perint Palmer, Bil Donovan, Steven Stipelman and Andrea Ferolla, alongside original masters including Antonia Lopez and René Bouché. Going from the hustle and underground glamour of New York, all the way through to a refined Italian elegance, the exhibition is set to look at the history of European fashion via 85 drawings, all of which will be displayed publicly for the first time.

'It's an honour to be included among my peers in Drawing on Style 2021, and a special thrill to be showing alongside Gruau, Eric, Bouché and Vertès, giants in the field. These extraordinary artists were pioneers of the concept that fashion drawing could be a fine art as well as a decorative one. We all owe them a debt', said Downtown.

Kenneth Paul Block, Manolo Blahnik boot for Perry Ellis 1981, wax crayon and marker pen on paper, signed, (14 x 10.5 cm), 1981
Robert Passantin, papidograph line drawing and zipatone on paper, signed, (42 x 30 cm), 1980s, WWD

Curated in-person talks, which will also be live-streamed, will accompany the exhibition and feature some of the artists. Those unable to visit the exhibition can view Drawing On Style online.

Drawing On Style runs 15-26 September 2021 at Cromwell Place, London, SW7. Book your free ticket HERE.

Robert Melendez, 'Sporting Around', charcoal and pantone colour overlay on paper, signed, (34 x 50 cm), 1969, WWD


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