Figure Drawing Illustrations

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Jeanne Lanvin walking dress (1914) for La Gazette (hi ban ton by Pierre Brissaud, the cousin of Georges Barbier and another advocate of the pochoir style. His illustrations often contained more than one figure and depicted social scenes.


Today's illustrators are also fond of showing their fashion figures In a busy environment. Marcus Chin's illustration shows a well-dressed woman at a music gig sipping a glass of wine, surrounded by other revellers.

the teens

Contemporaries of the illustrators discussed above, Georges Barbier and Pierre Brissaud were French illustrators working for an early fashion magazine called La Gazette du bon ton, eventually acquired by Condé Nast. Many of the illustrators later went on to work for the company's prestigious fashion magazine, Vogue. Georges Barbier was the chief illustrator. His style owes much to oriental ballet, theatre and the sinuous lines of Art Nouveau. He also greatly admired the work of Aubrey Beardsley, whose influence can be seen in Barbier's strong outlines and bold figures.

The illustrative styles of the decade from 1900 to 1910 were landmarks in the development of twentieth-century illustration, Many illustrations now showed fashions in busy social scenes, a trend followed by some of today's fashion illustrators, including Marcus Chin. Art Deco design also began to feature heavily in illustration, and Cubist geometry influenced the work of illustrators such as Charles Martin, Similar Cubist shapes were revisited in the 1980s by fashion illustrators such as Mats Gustafson and Lorenzo Mattatotti.

The First World War had a significant impact on fashion illustration. Printed journals and magazines declined as a vehicle for fashion ¡Illustration, but the film industry grew dramatically. During this decade many fashion and costume designers for stage and film hit the headlines, the most famous being a Russian-born painter known as Prié. Perhaps best known for his elaborate costumes at the Folies Bergères in Paris, Erté also designed many lavish costumes for American movies. His life's ambition to become a fashion illustrator was fulfilled when he signed up with Harper's Bazaar, where he continued to contribute fashion drawings for the next 20 years.

the twenties

The First World War was a period of great social upheaval, which had a dramatic influence on culture and the arts. The emancipation of women resulted in a new lemale image that rejected unnecessary flounces of fabric and impractical ornate frills. TWo of the most influential women in the fashion world at this time were Coco (]hanel and Madame Vionnet. Chanel's simple styles, teamed with compulsory costume jewellery, and Vionnet's bias-cut dresses defined a new era. Both designers opened shops in this decade and went on to clothe women for many more.

Until the twenties, the illustrated fashion figure had been drawn with fairly realistic proportions. However, as artwork and fashions became simplified, angular and linear in the twenties, so too did the fashion silhouette. Illustrations now Featured longer and leaner figures. Exaggerated fashion figures appeared in the works of Eduardo Garcia Benito, Guillermo Bolin, George Plank, Douglas Pollard, I lelen Dryden and John Held Jr. In his many memorable covers for Vogue in the twenties, Benito captured the essence of the strong, emancipated women that epitomized the decade. His figures were elongated and somewhat abstract in style, appearing in graphic designs enhanced by subtle colour contrasts.

The "flapper" became an iconic figure of the "roaring twenties", The cartoons of John Field Jr during the "jazz age" adorned the covers of The New Yorker and Life magazine. His style, featuring funny dancing cartoon characters with bright backgrounds and humorous scenes, is still mimicked today, and contemporary illustrators such as Stephen Campbell use character and humour in their fashion illustrations too.

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The cartoons of John Held Jr became iconic in the "roaring twenties" and adorned the covers of society magazines.

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Modern illustrators such as Stephen Campbell use personality and character to show off fashionable clothes, Campbell's preferred tool is the computer to create his popular cartoons,

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100 Fashion Tips

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