Drawing Fashion celebrates a unique collection of some of the most remarkable fashion illustrations from the 20th and 21st Century. These original illustrations reflect not only the spirit and style of the decades, but also evoke a sense of elegance and glamour long associated with the world of couture and high fashion.
Drawings from the collections of Chanel, Dior, Comme des Garcons, Poiret, Lacroix, McQueen and Victor & Rolf amongst others, will feature in the exhibition, which charts the changing perception of fashion drawings from its origins as an advertising tool used prior to the advancements of photography, through to its establishment as a unique representation of collections which has endured through to today’s leading designers.
This exhibition showcases the creativity and skills of a unique artistic approach, celebrating the art and artists of fashion illustration whose exquisite images gave each collection an emotive and stylistic sense of direction. The drawings reflect the spirit of the time, through Art Nouveau, Art Deco, Pop Art and beyond with each era resonating with flare and style. This exhibition, co curated by fashion historian and writer Colin McDowell, celebrates key artists at the height of their careers: Lepape at the beginning of the century, Gruau the 40s and 50s, Antonio throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s, to current artists Mats Gustafson and Francois Berthoud. Film-clips, news reels, music and photography will sit alongside the original illustrations, allowing the visitor to reflect on the wider social and cultural changes of the century. Films of the artists at work will be displayed alongside examples and projections of the couture clothes shown in the illustrations.
This collection, regarded as one of the most exceptional collections of fashion illustration in the world, has been put together over 30 years by Joelle Chariau, one of the very few experts on fashion drawings. This is the first time the collection has been displayed.
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