Fashion illustration – Robert De Jesus http://robertdejesus.com/ Thu, 02 Dec 2021 06:51:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8 https://robertdejesus.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/icon-7.png Fashion illustration – Robert De Jesus http://robertdejesus.com/ 32 32 Francesco Lo Iacono on fashion illustration, mastery of watercolor and his new book https://robertdejesus.com/francesco-lo-iacono-on-fashion-illustration-mastery-of-watercolor-and-his-new-book/ Tue, 30 Nov 2021 07:30:00 +0000 https://robertdejesus.com/francesco-lo-iacono-on-fashion-illustration-mastery-of-watercolor-and-his-new-book/ Having been in drawing and painting since he was a child, when he spent his time filling school books with endless sketches, Francesco would continue to study fine art at a higher level. Oddly, however, he had no immediate interest in fashion and was more interested in photography. However, inspirational editorials in fashion magazines sparked […]]]>

Having been in drawing and painting since he was a child, when he spent his time filling school books with endless sketches, Francesco would continue to study fine art at a higher level. Oddly, however, he had no immediate interest in fashion and was more interested in photography. However, inspirational editorials in fashion magazines sparked his fascination with the industry, and soon after he moved to Paris to work in the womenswear department of a trend forecasting industry.

During this time, Francesco began to take his career as a fashion illustrator more seriously and realized that fashion illustration could bring together all of his interests. His eagerness and enthusiasm for the medium paid off. He’s since been enlisted by top customers, including high-end department stores and respected fashion magazines that caught his eye all those years ago.



In his recently published first book, Watercolor fashion illustration, Francesco shares what he has learned from his career so far to help fashion illustrators just starting out or looking to change and enter the industry. We caught up with him to find out more.

What made you want to release Aquarelle Fashion Illustration?

Ever since I started working as a fashion illustrator, I have always had this little dream of creating and publishing my own book. I would say it was also a matter of timing. I had the pleasure of leading a Fashion Life Drawing class in London for over two years. I loved sharing my tips with other illustrators, working alongside talented young fashion designers and models. Unfortunately, the pandemic struck, so I had to stop everything.

Around the same time, I reached out to my publisher and they thought it might be a good time for a watercolor-focused fashion illustration book, and soon after we had our first Zoom meeting to discuss further details about the book. It was at the start of the very first lockdown in the UK, and that’s when I started working on my book. In a way, I see this book as the natural continuation of my fashion illustration workshop.

Are watercolors particularly suitable for fashion illustration?

Watercolor is extremely versatile. This is one of the things that makes it unique. In the arts and illustration, watercolor has been used in very different ways. Personally, watercolor has been a natural choice, but I also think watercolor can easily adapt to my style of fashion illustration, which can be considered traditional and classic in a way.

In the book, I often mention how I find watercolor to be perfectly suited to solving certain problems or representing something in particular. For example, there is a whole section devoted to how to render certain fabrics and textures in watercolor, and they have been carefully chosen in order to highlight the value of watercolor in that specific use.







Who is the book primarily aimed at, fashion students, or people planning to study fashion in the future?

I have really done my best to make this book useful and compelling for many people. The book is aimed above all at those who genuinely love fashion, illustration and watercolor. Those who love all three, just like me, will find this book the perfect option.

At the same time, throughout the book, I believe I have given valuable tips and advice not only on the watercolor technique but also on the career of a fashion illustrator itself, and to a greater extent, this than it is to be an artist. While I start with the basics, I end up touching on other aspects of being an illustrator, such as developing your style, digitizing your work, and keeping a professional and responsible attitude as a creative.

When I was leading my fashion illustration workshop, I met many different people who were at different stages of their creative journey: fashion students, professional artists, people who wanted to reconnect with their creative side after years of absence. So in writing the book I took that into consideration and tried to give everyone something.

If readers could take one thing out of your book, what would it be?

I think I would really like people to feel, through the pages of my book, all the love and passion I have for this technique and for my job. And with love, also the commitment necessary to succeed as an artist and illustrator.







Watercolor is considered a difficult medium to master. What’s the secret to using them well?

I am aware that watercolor can be viewed this way, and I understand why. In the book I give a lot of information on how to approach watercolor for the first time, offering all my knowledge, and I hope by the end you will be able to master watercolor. But with my guidance, it is necessary to be open, patient, courageous and dedicated. Practice is of course the key to getting the most out of the book. So maybe continuing to practice is the real secret. There are no shortcuts, but I’m happy to share my tips for making your creative path easier and more enjoyable. Also, I think it’s important to keep the fun going. It’s a way to keep exploring the technique and learning.

What advice would you give to people who are considering getting into fashion illustration?

I feel blessed to be able to explore my creativity as a fashion illustrator every day. It has been and still is a breathtaking journey, and I think a mixture of patience, passion and practice has brought me to where I am now.

Build a comprehensive portfolio that shows everything you can accomplish to earn the trust of potential clients and secure their commissions. Each artist has a different path, don’t compare yourself to others and keep focusing on your craft and your art.

Keep practicing and learning, keep feeding your creativity and be patient as this journey may take some time.





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Fashion Illustration and Drawing Awards names its best illustrators of 2021 https://robertdejesus.com/fashion-illustration-and-drawing-awards-names-its-best-illustrators-of-2021/ https://robertdejesus.com/fashion-illustration-and-drawing-awards-names-its-best-illustrators-of-2021/#respond Mon, 08 Nov 2021 04:11:38 +0000 https://robertdejesus.com/fashion-illustration-and-drawing-awards-names-its-best-illustrators-of-2021/ Fida announced the winners of the 4th Fashion Illustration Drawing Awards live on Instagram after reviewing more than 1,000 entries from around the world. The jury included master classic fashion illustrator, David Downton; Selfridges Artistic Director Shawn Davey; leading contemporary fashion illustrator, Stina Persson; versatile fashion and creative illustrator, John Booth; Eris Tran, fashion couture […]]]>

Fida announced the winners of the 4th Fashion Illustration Drawing Awards live on Instagram after reviewing more than 1,000 entries from around the world. The jury included master classic fashion illustrator, David Downton; Selfridges Artistic Director Shawn Davey; leading contemporary fashion illustrator, Stina Persson; versatile fashion and creative illustrator, John Booth; Eris Tran, fashion couture illustrator and social media sensation, and Shivangi Bhardwaj, senior designer for Adidas, among others.

Fida was founded by husband-wife team Patrick and Diane Morgan on a shared vision to promote best practice among illustrators and fashion artists, and she has, in just a few short years, created a community of fashion artists. which did not exist before. In recent months, Fida members have collaborated with Bulgari, Alberta Ferretti, Lacoste and London Fashion Week.

Fida Submission by Betty Southerland

There were 4 categories in this year’s awards. The Classical Award winner has demonstrated skill in using traditional methods or media and the submitted artwork could be based on any inspiration from the runway, ad campaigns, photography or the personal fashion inspiration. The Avant Garde Prize rewards an artist using mixed media or combining traditional and new technologies. The New Award rewards creators using exclusively new technologies or new software in this still little mapped territory, and the Fashion Show Award was open to designers using any technique or media to best represent a parade of the past or the present. or a behind-the-scenes scenes from a fashion show.

Fashion illustration is seeing a palpable resurgence of interest, according to Downton

Each category winner receives one year of Fida membership and earns a place in the Fible, Fida’s Fashion Illustration Bible, which showcases the best of contemporary talent and is sent to luxury brands and leaders. industry, while the overall winner also earns 2,000 pounds.

Fida Submission by Kate Nastas

“Fashion illustration today has few rules. There is a lot of energy and excitement and a palpable resurgence of interest everywhere, ”Downton commented in a statement. “Social media has democratized the process and leveled the playing field (without always raising the standards). But some things never change. Drawing is always essential and at the heart of any successful image.

The winner of the Classic Prize is Betty Southerland. The Avant Garde Prize was awarded to Katrin Funcke for her expressive and pictorial composition. The New category was claimed by Kate Nastas for her elegant take on an editorial Miu Miu image and the Fashion Show award was won by Nadia Coolrista for her striking work using colored pencil on a black background. Coolrista also won Fida’s Fashion Faces award in 2020. This year’s big winner was Katrin Funcke.

Fida Submission by Nadia Coolrista

“I found the standard to be very high, with some great examples of individual and imaginative work,” said John Booth. “It’s really great to see that so many people still feel passionate about fashion illustration as an exciting and important form of communication. ”

Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.


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Fashion illustration creation: tips and creative tools from the Evans group https://robertdejesus.com/fashion-illustration-creation-tips-and-creative-tools-from-the-evans-group/ https://robertdejesus.com/fashion-illustration-creation-tips-and-creative-tools-from-the-evans-group/#respond Tue, 24 Aug 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://robertdejesus.com/fashion-illustration-creation-tips-and-creative-tools-from-the-evans-group/ THE Fashion production house Beginner fashion designers looking to make a splash with a new clothing line now have some helpful tips. LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA, August 24, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – Beginner fashion designers looking to make a splash with a new clothing line now have some helpful tips. Thanks to Los Angeles-based clothing maker […]]]>

THE Fashion production house

Beginner fashion designers looking to make a splash with a new clothing line now have some helpful tips.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA, August 24, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ – Beginner fashion designers looking to make a splash with a new clothing line now have some helpful tips. Thanks to Los Angeles-based clothing maker The Evans Group, ambitious visions are transformed into stunning clothing lines with fashion illustrations.

Founded in 2005, The Evans Group (TEG) is a full-service fashion production house. Led by fashion expert Jennifer Evans, TEG offers established and emerging fashion designers the golden opportunity to launch their own clothing line.

One of the ways the LA clothing maker helps its customers is through practical fashion illustrations.

Fashion illustrations: tips from TEG

In a recent article, TEG describes everything about fashion design sketches and how they serve the overall clothing design process. Basically, with fashion design sketches, you plan your new clothing line.

Here are some key things to know to launch your new clothing line to an avid audience.

Draw a Sketch

A sketch is a figure on which you draw your clothing proposals.

TEG says, “This is a sketch of a silhouette on which to outfit your fashion design ideas. Naturally, croquis translates to “sketch” in French. Who are you designing your clothing line for? A woman? A man? Keep this in mind when planning your fashion illustration.

Once you have a sketch with the proper measurements and proportions, it’s time to move on.

Master the nine-headed pattern

The use of a “nine heads” model is vital to create a complete fashion illustration.

TEG explains: “Nine heads refer to the proportions of the model shown: the sketch measures nine heads, from the top of the head to the toe. This is the perfect starting point for drawing multiple poses and angles.

Once a figure adheres to the nine-headed pattern, you are ready to move on to the next steps.

Draw clothes on your sketch

Now comes the fun part. Once your sketch is on paper, it’s time to outfit the figure with the perfect clothing samples. Think about the durable clothes, colors and materials you can use on a mannequin. Sky is the limit.

TEG: Committed to a cause

TEG also promotes sustainable fashion practices, so that you can easily weave your clothing designs to meet these criteria. If you don’t know, the fashion industry is responsible for massive amounts of water pollution around the world, not least due to the rapid fashion boom. TEG did not want to contribute to both water pollution and poor, unethical working conditions that tarnish the image of clothing manufacturing.

As such, Jennifer Evans herself contacts other Los Angeles textile factories to hire local talent for larger clothing orders.

TEG cites a vivid example of environmental neglect in the 2011 Jian River incident in a recent exhibit on textile dyeing methods. A river in China turned crimson after two factories dumped dye into the nearby sewer.

For Evans and her team of pattern makers, dressmakers and more, reducing the negative impact of the fashion industry is an admirable goal.

Achievable fashion sketches: part of a larger process

But the design process for TEG’s clothing line involves more than just fashion sketches. When designing clothing samples for a new fashion collection, the design team engages in in-depth brainstorming sessions, visualizing and creating ideas with fashion mood boards and more.

In short, the TEG team does its due diligence with its customers by ensuring the entire design process, from the design to the manufacture of the clothes in the Los Angeles studio.

What does this mean for fashion designers?

TEG’s commitment to helping novice and veteran independent clothing designers opens up a world of creative possibilities. With a solid foundation of art, illustration, creativity and style, TEG is quickly establishing its authority in the Los Angeles area.

Clothing designers also have an additional resource from the Los Angeles clothing maker.

TEG also offers other nuggets of fashion knowledge in the resource section of the site. With helpful resources, illustrators and tips from TEG, emerging fashion designers have a huge boost in bringing different styles to life through high-quality fashion illustrations.

About the Evans Group

The Evans Group, founded in 2005, is a full-service fashion development and production house based in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Since its inception, The Evans Group has worked with over 2,000 clothing brands and designers. The Evans Group prides itself on being one of the few fashion houses in the United States with raw experience and talent. And mainly for independent fashion designers.

With talented seamstresses, pattern makers and fashion designers, TEG enables emerging designers to launch a clothing line.

Read more about The Evans Group on their website: https://tegintl.com/

The Evans group is located in:
1926 E. 7th Street, Suite B, Los Angeles, CA 90021
303 Sutter Street, San Francisco, California 94108

You can reach The Evans Group by phone
800-916-0910 (Los Angeles)
415-324-8779 (San Francisco)

Jennifer evans
The Evans group
+1 800-916-0910
write us here


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Istituto Marangoni and Fida to Host Miami Swim Fashion Illustration Show https://robertdejesus.com/istituto-marangoni-and-fida-to-host-miami-swim-fashion-illustration-show-2/ https://robertdejesus.com/istituto-marangoni-and-fida-to-host-miami-swim-fashion-illustration-show-2/#respond Wed, 26 May 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://robertdejesus.com/istituto-marangoni-and-fida-to-host-miami-swim-fashion-illustration-show-2/ Fida, the Fashion Illustration and Drawing Awards, is launching its first summer fashion arts exhibition to be hosted by the Istituto Marangoni Miami during the upcoming Miami Swimming Week. The school’s Billboard Building, designed by Shulman + Associates, in the city’s design district, is famous for its blend of traditional and contemporary architecture, and will […]]]>

Fida, the Fashion Illustration and Drawing Awards, is launching its first summer fashion arts exhibition to be hosted by the Istituto Marangoni Miami during the upcoming Miami Swimming Week. The school’s Billboard Building, designed by Shulman + Associates, in the city’s design district, is famous for its blend of traditional and contemporary architecture, and will feature works of art that will similarly blend the craftsmanship with the latest technologies.

Fida’s mission to promote fashion artists across the world is moving forward with the exhibition titled Ultramarine based on the idea of ​​exploring the blue hues of lapis lazuli, the key ingredient in intense ultramarine pigment. The artwork will be properly displayed against the backdrop of Miami’s dazzling sea and sky. Applications are currently being accepted and fashion artists can find all the information on the FidaWorldwide website.

“Ultramarine remains one of the finest and most sought-after pigments used by Renaissance painters and contemporary artists,” said Diane Morgan, co-founder of Fida. “The artists were inspired by color, which was once used to represent the dresses of the Virgin Mary to symbolize holiness and humility, to modern designs, including cyanotypes by Robert Rauschenberg, and as inspiration for Phoebe Philo’s fashion collections in SS17 for Celine, using body print illustrations by Yves Klein.

Fida fashion illustration exhibition

Fashion illustration unites Fida and Istituto Marangoni

Fashionunited spoke with fashion dean in Marangoni, Massimo Casagrande, who is committed to giving more exposure to fashion illustration, and who had previously worked with Fida co-founder Patrick Morgan on a joint exhibition for the London Design Festival in 2016. The school has an 86-year legacy of creating fashion professionals and, over the past two years, Miami has undergone an incredible creative and artistic transformation, so it has me just seemed to be doing it now, ”Casagrande said.

Students from Istituto Marangoni Miami have participated regularly in Swim Week, working behind the scenes or in showrooms to gain experience in the industry. “We will also have a 3 month pop-up showroom in our building with swimwear and cruise collections, and invite the press, buyers and industry people into the building to view the collections,” Casagrande said. However, this time around there is an added bonus for the school. “This year will be special for us as two of our graduates have launched their own swimwear brands, so we will be promoting their collections during MSW.”

As Miami opens up post-covid, Casagrande sees only one opportunity. “I see fashion illustration as a newspaper of the time, a visual newspaper of an era that is not photographic and homogenized, but expressed through the pen, inks and brushes”, he said. he declares. During the lockdown, when photoshoots and fashion shows were canceled, he believes the illustration, which flourished on social media, helped keep the fashion fantasy alive, and for him the importance from January 2020 Vogue Italia who avoided photoshoots in a gesture of sustainability to create the whole problem with illustrations still resonates. “In the ’80s and’ 90s, the Istituto Marangoni was offering courses in fashion illustration, and something I would love to do with the Miami school is bring back this art form because it is so important and relevant. for our industry, ”said Casagrande. “Thanks to this collaboration with Patrick and Fida, I feel that we are taking our first steps to achieve this. “

Admission to Ultramarine will be free and open to the public between July 7 and August 5, 2021. An invitation-only vernissage will take place on July 6 and all works will be available for purchase on the FidaWorldwide website. A percentage of the sales will go to the Istituto Marangoni Miami and Fida scholarships.

Images provided by Istituto Marangoni Miami and Fida.

Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.


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Fida announces the winners of the 2021 Fashion Illustration Awards https://robertdejesus.com/fida-announces-the-winners-of-the-2021-fashion-illustration-awards/ https://robertdejesus.com/fida-announces-the-winners-of-the-2021-fashion-illustration-awards/#respond Sun, 04 Apr 2021 07:00:00 +0000 https://robertdejesus.com/fida-announces-the-winners-of-the-2021-fashion-illustration-awards/ Fida, the global online awards for promoting illustration and fashion design, announced its 2021 winners this weekend, selected from nearly 1,000 entries from 101 countries. A preselection of 100 artists was communicated in mid-March, a quarter of whom became finalists. The contest judges were led by Fida brand ambassadors, Nuno da Costa, fashion illustrator for […]]]>

Fida, the global online awards for promoting illustration and fashion design, announced its 2021 winners this weekend, selected from nearly 1,000 entries from 101 countries. A preselection of 100 artists was communicated in mid-March, a quarter of whom became finalists. The contest judges were led by Fida brand ambassadors, Nuno da Costa, fashion illustrator for Vogue Portugal, and Francesco Lo Iacono, London-based fashion illustrator who reports Fashion Week for The official. They were joined in the panel by professionals from the sector, Marcos Batuecas from Lacoste, Lucy Lyon from Tom Ford, Antonio Colomboni from Toilet paper magazine and Fraser Clark from Wallpaper*, with renowned illustrators, Chris Gambrell, Tina Berning and Clement Louis.

Patrick Morgan, founder of Fida, updated on the winners via Instagram rather than at a glittering party at a lavish London hotel, which was how the winners were celebrated in the pre-pandemic years. FashionUnited spoke with Morgan to get his thoughts on this year’s submissions and the return of fashion illustration to the industry dialogue despite the hardships the pandemic has inflicted.

The criteria are very simple. Is the job interesting and does the job have something new to say? Is there a good understanding of the design, composition, marking, quality of the end result and technique? Is the work relevant to today’s world? And is it fresh? Did it capture your eye and your imagination, causing you to stop to watch?

Everything was very tight this year because the level of submission was very high, with a range of different techniques and approaches to represent the image of fashion. We have already had clear winners in some categories, but the selection of the winner may involve a bit of debate at the end.

Judge, Francesco Lo Iacono: I have had the honor of being Fida Ambassador from the very beginning and I am more than happy and proud to see how fashion illustrators continue to create such powerful images. Fida is pushing fashion artists around the world to rethink the impact of illustration within and outside the fashion industry. I can see the amount of time, research, hard work, and creativity behind each entry. Fida celebrates not only the winners, but all those who continue to challenge fashion illustration and its possibilities.

Morgan: I think that statement really captures the essence of the Fida Awards. Fida opens the discussion to a new dialogue with fashion imagery through drawing and painting. We want her to be re-understood in a new capacity, to have deeper critical thinking. Through the introduction of Fida’s monthly conferences, we hope to re-inform the industry and move it to a new space where the commercial / artistic market really looks at work through a deeper lens. Fashion illustration is not a supplement to the process but is an integral part of the brand vibe or the vibe of a designer’s collection.

Fida has created a real honest community of fashion image designers who are now part of a big family. We love to see the growth and some of the artists, since entering or winning, have really become something much bigger, which is fantastic. Fida is building new spaces and platforms to help fashion artists have more control over their vision through curated portfolios posted on our members’ website.

In January, Fida released The Fible, a luxury book showcasing the emerging talents of 2021 for brands, businesses and fashion lovers to browse while seeking inspiration or for artists to commission.

Each year there are four category winners and one overall winner. The Cover Award which reinvents a magazine cover went to the poetic and pictorial imagination of a The official cover by Martina Cambrini; the Moment Award, which celebrates an artist’s ability to create a work that resonates and captures our collective imagination, was awarded to Manon Cardin. The Icon Award celebrating a figure who changed the industry was won by Seungwon Hong for his painting by Karl Lagerfeld displaying a dynamic experimental brush. The Muse Prize rewards the special relationship between designers and those who inspire them, and the unanimous winner in this category is Carmen Vega Ruigómez for her painting of Adut Akeche. This year’s big winner, who got the most votes by far, revealed Morgan, and whose play really stood out for its composition and interesting lines was Manon Cardin.

works presented by Fida: Header, Carmen Vega Ruigómez, followed in order by Manon Cardin, Seungwon Hong, Martina Cabrini

Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry.


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Kischi Ogawa offers a close up of fashion illustration at WWD – WWD https://robertdejesus.com/kischi-ogawa-offers-a-close-up-of-fashion-illustration-at-wwd-wwd/ https://robertdejesus.com/kischi-ogawa-offers-a-close-up-of-fashion-illustration-at-wwd-wwd/#respond Wed, 30 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0000 https://robertdejesus.com/kischi-ogawa-offers-a-close-up-of-fashion-illustration-at-wwd-wwd/ After spending 31 years as a fashion illustrator for WWD, Kichisaburo Ogawa still puts his skills to use as an Assistant Professor of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School of Design. A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Ogawa decided to pursue a career in fashion illustration, starting with drawing newspaper ads for […]]]>

After spending 31 years as a fashion illustrator for WWD, Kichisaburo Ogawa still puts his skills to use as an Assistant Professor of Fashion Design at Parsons The New School of Design.

A graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology, Ogawa decided to pursue a career in fashion illustration, starting with drawing newspaper ads for Henri Bendel in the 56th Street retailer’s advertising department. After hearing about an opening at WWD in 1978, Ogawa applied.

At a time when employers sometimes encouraged their talents to seek or accept positions at other companies, Ogawa said she consulted with Henri Bendel President Geraldine Stutz on whether to take the WWD position and she totally agreed. Asked about the move to WWD, he said: “I had just finished my studies three months ago. They had very prestigious illustrators. Everyone was very well known. I was very new and deep down [of the rung]. But they treated me like a professional. I had a lot of trouble at the start. This environment was really crazy, but fun [laughs]. All the artists are very individualistic and creative.

At that time there were 10 or 15 illustrators housed together in the same drawing room. The competition was tough and there was a lot going on at the same time. As a daily, the pressure was intense and everything had to be finished on time, Ogawa said.

Depending on the mission, the work was due either by the 2 p.m. deadline or the 6 p.m. deadline. After the daily editorial meeting, an editor would provide a designer sketch from which the work would be due on the same day. On some occasions, the illustrator had a few extra days depending on the article or topic. A cosmetic blanket, for example, was used for the supplements, which allowed for more leeway with a longer lead time. “Most of the time we had to finish in a few hours,” Ogawa said.

His tenure lasted from 1978 to 1991, and overall the experience was great. “First of all, working at Women’s Wear Daily, I got to see everything about fashion. It was very advanced at the time. We were able to see the images immediately. It was a good experience to gain knowledge. Also, from a business point of view, it was a good way to build strong relationships. For example, if a new publisher came in and later went to another location, then we had more contacts and connections, ”Ogawa said.

When digital began to take hold in the early 90s, the art department was downsized and the fashion illustration department was dissolved. At the same time, fashion photographers eclipsed fashion illustrators. Ogawa credited legendary WWD editor John B. Fairchild, an ardent admirer and champion of fashion illustration, for keeping illustrators employed as long as they did. “But times are changing. The computer age has arrived. Even the art department and the editorial department had to use computers more and gave up typewriters. That’s why they closed the fashion illustration department and switched to photography, ”he said.

Steven Meisel, who started out as a fashion illustrator, grasped the changes under his feet. Ogawa remembers working with Meisel, who understood the change that was taking place. “He became a successful photographer,” Ogawa said.

The seventies, eighties and nineties were more of a time for fashion, and everyone was more culturally involved, he said. “We went to clubs together and a lot of fun things were happening in the work environment as well. On the work side, it was hard. Artists are delicate about their own art. It was a bit difficult for me because everyone was in a room together. Sometimes it was really intense, ”Ogawa said. “It was difficult to work on the daily news. But it has become an asset for my future. After that I can work in any environment easily [laughs]. “

Although he continued to work as a freelance illustrator for WWD, he also worked freelance for international magazines including the Japanese editions of Elle, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire. While at WWD, Ogawa taught evening classes at Parsons and then stayed there, becoming a full-time teacher. He also worked as an assistant designer at Mr. John. His drawings have been exhibited at the Society of Illustrators, the Design Art Gallery in Philadelphia and are part of the permanent collection of the Museum at FIT. Later in his career, he hooked up with fellow WWD fashion illustrator Richard Rosenfeld, who was his office mate when they both taught at FIT.

Dealing with capricious artists at WWD has been a singular experience. “You know photographers are a different story because they have to work together, don’t you? Inspiration [with illustrators] is more individual. Everyone worked in a room, so they expected a more individual style. You had to create your own style. Otherwise, they would think, “Why are you doing the same type of illustration? You don’t have to work here, ”Ogawa said. “In general, I had a very good relationship with the publishers. It really is a great asset. And your [Froio, former executive editor] was working at the time, and Michael Coady was editor. Brigitte [Foley] was brand new. Everyone was really fun. It was a really fun time. At the same time, as a creator, the daily deadlines were tough for me at first. Once you get used to it, you can handle it.

Sitting next to Kenneth Paul Block, Ogawa said he was inspired by his professionalism and style. “I learned a lot. Everyone inspired me in some way. They always gave great reviews. We always asked ourselves, ‘What do you think of my drawing?’,” He said. declared.

Starting right out of college, Ogawa said entering the professional world takes work, as it does in any profession. Developing your own style took time. Another factor was the sketch of figures that could fit into a certain space due to the length of the accompanying article. “My drawings are very stylized. I am inspired by Art Deco which was originally inspired by Japanese or Japanese printing. It was a bit strange back then, ”he said. “I did a lot of research in the archives. If I had time, I would go to the archives to see all the drawings by the illustrators.

Regarding Block, Ogawa said, “He was eccentric and very calm. He was a little cynical. He was very elegant, and an old fashioned type. He always wore scarves. He smoked cigarettes a certain way and spoke a certain way. He spoke very slowly. At the time, it was a bit of a joke, but he was admired. We haven’t always seen this kind of gentleman fashion style. We were young and more punk. It was a different movement from a fashion point of view, but it was very elegant.

As a full-time teacher, Ogawa spends most of his time teaching.


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Former art director James Spina recalls the heyday of fashion illustration – WWD https://robertdejesus.com/former-art-director-james-spina-recalls-the-heyday-of-fashion-illustration-wwd/ https://robertdejesus.com/former-art-director-james-spina-recalls-the-heyday-of-fashion-illustration-wwd/#respond Wed, 30 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0000 https://robertdejesus.com/former-art-director-james-spina-recalls-the-heyday-of-fashion-illustration-wwd/ During his 11 years as artistic director, James Spina has said that he “basically clings to life” because he is “surrounded by this incredible flock of incredible illustrators”. From her perspective, the heyday of fashion illustration at WWD began in the late 1960s and continued into the mid-1980s, with a solid peak occurring during her […]]]>

During his 11 years as artistic director, James Spina has said that he “basically clings to life” because he is “surrounded by this incredible flock of incredible illustrators”.

From her perspective, the heyday of fashion illustration at WWD began in the late 1960s and continued into the mid-1980s, with a solid peak occurring during her tenure as as artistic director. But the ultimate credit for those glory days should go to former WWD editor and editorial director John B. Fairchild, who had the vision and foresight, according to Spina.

In a recent interview, Spina said, “John Fairchild, to this day, remains my main mentor. I learned everything about fashion from him, and all about writing about fashion from him.

Originally hired as a copy boy at WWD in 1974, he was appointed artistic director three years later. Spina oversaw WWD’s art department until 1990 before moving to other roles at Fairchild until he left the media company in 1993. Spina said he joined WWD “at one point. where the illustration was really the way womens clothing and, to some extent, W, stayed in addition to the incredible changes that were happening in fashion.

From the start he got into the race, as WWD produced 230-page issues, rich in illustrations and with a fair amount of photographs. “That was really the heart of fashion reporting, except when we were on the cover of the show. Most of the reporting and the tracing of trends were carried out using illustrations. Illustrators would go into the market to sketch in designers’ design offices and the clothes would arrive in what illustrators would ‘sketch’, as they called it, and later sketch in finalized pages for Women’s Wear Daily, ”a he declared. “It was amazing.”

By the time he left, or “was pushed out the door, illustration, whether rightly or wrongly, was declining as fashion photography really skyrocketed.” He had an immediacy. The market was responding really well to photography. Many in the field haven’t realized how much illustration has not only improved, but in fact inspired in some ways even more than photography, ”Spina said.

Kenneth Paul Block and Catherine Clayton Purnell were among “the incredible array of illustrators” working at WWD at the time. Two years before Spina joined the company as a copier, Calvin Klein had briefly held the same position. Earning $ 89 per week, Spina began writing, particularly music reviews, as he was trained as a rock writer and music critic.

After gaining a taste for the design elements of WWD and launching W as a large format publication, art director Rudy Millendorf asked Spina in late 1974 if he would like to do a few pages for WWD and W as a graphic designer. Although he has no experience in this area, he took the plunge and enjoyed it. “Shocking enough” when his mentor Millendorf retired in 1977, John Fairchild asked Spina if he would like to become an art director. During her tenure, Spina experienced the climax of having a very large department with four model makers, and always at least nine fashion illustrators.

One of Spina’s hires was Steven Meisel, who joined WWD as an illustrator right out of school. Frustrated with some of the photographs used for “Best of New York,” Spina asked Meisel, who had started to delve into photography, to take some photographs for it. “He borrowed my Exakta camera and took half of the best photos in New York City while he was still an illustrator,” Spina said.

Charles Boone, and possibly Robert Young, were some of Spina’s other rookies. Robert Passantino, Block, Steven Stipelman, Pedro Barrios and Purnell were already in the lineup. “The talent just shone. Brilliant, ”Spina said. “There came a time when Mr. Fairchild seemed to turn away from illustrators and really took a liking to photography. Not to my dismay, but I was a true champion of illustrators. I still am, “he said.” I love fashion photography and where it takes our culture and embraces it. There is really something about illustration that takes the reality of what it is. is the garment, or the shoes, or the fashion and in an amazing way, she enhances it with a dreamlike fancy quality. It really gives the reader almost [the] the inspiration to think not only of what is illustrated, but of what can be.

Spina recalled how Mr. Fairchild was very attached to “it’s not about fashion. It’s a matter of style. Fashion photography is really all about fashion. Illustration is a matter of style. It really touched me. For a lot of Women’s Wear and W readers back then, that sense of style was really paramount, ”said Spina.

Looking back before WWD had a full-time team of fashion illustrators back when Vanity Fair and Vogue had illustrations on their covers, those designs were “thefts of the imagination,” Spina said. The same could be said at WWD. “At Women’s Wear in the ’70s and’ 80s, the flights of the imagination that took place daily, and every two weeks in W… whether it was Passantino, Stipelman or Kenneth, it was just amazing.

And they all got along wonderfully, inspiring each other and turning to look at each other’s illustrations throughout the day, according to Spina. When designers periodically sent their small designs to sketch, an illustrator, Steven Cervantes, would put them on his clothes to model for Block. Spina said, “This soft piece of clothing would suddenly become a glowing style statement. There was much less competition between these illustrators than there was between the five or six photographers on the staff. It didn’t mean that the staff photographers were fighting against each other, but they were much more competitive in their ambitions than the confidence that the illustrators showed, ”said Spina.

While working as a graphic layout editor, he saw first-hand the great care illustrators took in understanding the page setups and media that could be delivered correctly in a print setup. Before computers were the norm, sketches had to be prepared for about an hour and a screen cut off for it. “These amazing artists would partner with you and some of these sketches, for example, would be done on a Wednesday and appear on a Thursday. Someone like Passantino would give me 12 illustrations for a section in Women’s Wear Daily. I put them on in about two or three hours, and two days later they appeared on 11 or 12 pages in Women’s Wear Daily. These are our more than 230 problems that I am talking about, ”Spina said.

Wednesday’s fabric day was a “huge” WWD and Friday’s had beauty and scent, and sometimes the props in a two-day run “were full of amazing illustrations,” Spina said.

In addition to WWD, similar storylines with incredible illustrations were happening on the upper floors with sister publications Daily News Record and Footwear News. As to whether fashion illustration will ever show signs of the power and glory that it once was, the former art director said: “It would certainly be good if a direction towards her was pursued in a stronger way.” . Whether through digital communication or in a new sense or horizon for what fashion and style magazines will be. I think there is a complementary point, which should be at the center of fashion photography and fashion illustration. It would make me so happy to see something like this happen.

Now editor of 20/20 magazine, Spina says there is a resurgence of fashion illustration “in a very light and defined way” in eyewear and sunglasses merchandising and advertising. , did he declare. “I would like this to be part of some kind of renaissance as style and fashion maybe come back in what we would now create as our new normal in this world of fashion and the world of style as it is. could, and maybe should, be, ”Spina said.

After changing jobs at WWD in 1990, he started working for another Fairchild publication, Sportstyle, and then helped develop Golf Pro. Deciding later to deepen her original career choice as a writer and editor, Spina left Fairchild, worked as a freelance for a few years, and joined 20/20 magazine in 1995.

While on assignment in Los Angeles for WWD, he met his future wife Kristen, who also worked at Fairchild. Thinking back to his WWD days, Spina emphasized how sensitive he was to the multitude of talent in the fashion illustration department. “Thinking of them now – [Robert] Passantino and Pedro [Barrios] and at the top is Kenneth Paul Block. Steven Stipelman gives classes for illustrators and then these illustrators come and show me their portfolios and see the impact this guy has had on them as a teacher – oh boy – what an amazing, amazing time, ”he said. he declares.


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Behind the Scenes of WWD’s Fashion Illustration Department – WWD https://robertdejesus.com/behind-the-scenes-of-wwds-fashion-illustration-department-wwd/ https://robertdejesus.com/behind-the-scenes-of-wwds-fashion-illustration-department-wwd/#respond Mon, 28 Dec 2020 08:00:00 +0000 https://robertdejesus.com/behind-the-scenes-of-wwds-fashion-illustration-department-wwd/ Fashion illustration is a combination of literal representation and interpretive commentary, recorded in the moment. The art of fashion illustrators featured in Women’s Wear Daily throughout the 20th century is proof of this. The work of these artists showcased the fantastic aspirations of fashion and its influence on trends surrounding popular culture, often in real […]]]>

Fashion illustration is a combination of literal representation and interpretive commentary, recorded in the moment. The art of fashion illustrators featured in Women’s Wear Daily throughout the 20th century is proof of this. The work of these artists showcased the fantastic aspirations of fashion and its influence on trends surrounding popular culture, often in real time.

WWD introduced fashion illustration to its readership from its inception in 1910, used as both an editorial and marketing tool. The garment pictured conveyed what was fashionable and salable at the time. With perfectly illustrated fashions, combined with columns of business and social newsprint, WWD has helped sustain and establish a thriving industry. His daily editorial sketches have been attributed to a team of artists who have widely recorded fashion entries and exits, locally and internationally.

Leagues of fashion illustrators have left their mark on WWD by rolling up their sleeves and getting to work imagining the designers’ creations. Kenneth Paul Block reigned supreme as a prominent talent and one that others looked to for inspiration. Block joined WWD in the late fifties and stayed until the early nineties, exiting when the department was disbanded as photography became mainstream. Today’s profile of him and his work is a hallmark of this week’s tribute series to WWD Illustrators. Others such as Steven Stipelman, Robert Melendez, Robert Passantino, Glenn Tunstull, Kichisaburo Ogawa and Richard Rosenfeld will also be featured.

Former model Halston Chris Royer, who owns a collection of Block’s sketches, said of him: “He was picky. He had an ascot, his white shirt, his jacket and light leather shoes. He was so spotless. He was like a great English gentleman.

Designers Diane von Furstenberg and Halston choose what they would like to see wearing First Lady Rosalyn Carter. Illustrated by Kenneth Paul Block for the January 12, 1977 issue of WWD.
Fairchild Archives

Describing how Block worked while drawing it in Halston’s showroom, Royer said, “He was looking and he was focusing on your hands. He felt that expressing this was very important. When you were there talking to another model, he immediately understood it. He also used a lot of magic markers as he worked for Women’s Wear Daily and the ink absorbed. He could get a really good line for the sketches. The nature of the paper was cheap and you had to make it bold and fabulous. That’s what he did.

Royer said: “I am always fascinated by illustration. The way they can sketch the body line and capture those little details. The line can reveal the whole story. You can see the dress and you can see the attitude. It’s like you don’t need so much. In the photos, that’s all. You have to have all the details in there, especially now because everything is being captured because it’s digital.

“When you’re dealing with fashion illustration, it’s the world. You can do whatever you want, ”she added.

WWD’s legacy in fashion illustration can be seen in the early 1920s – Ruth Reeves’ designs were featured often in the newspaper and on the cover. In addition to being a textile designer, Reeves was one of the many fashion illustrators working in the field during this time.

Over the years, generations of fashion illustrators have joined the ranks of WWD and influenced the genre, including Antonio Lopez, Steven Meisel, Pedro Barrios, Jeff Britton, Deborah Marquit, Carmen Varricchio and Charles Boone. A few of the alumni, like Robert Young, who went on to teach at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and Joel Resnicoff died quite young. Resnicoff was only 38 when he died in 1986. His niece continues to pay tribute to his vibrant work via an Instagram account that showcases his designs.

Advancement of the California Designer Sportswear Fall 1976 collection. Illustration by Steven Meisel.

Advancement of the California Designer Sportswear Fall 1976 collection. Illustration by Steven Meisel.
Fairchild Archives

By the 1930s, WWD had introduced one of its distinguishing features – “They Are Wearing”, a column that used fashion illustrations or photographs to highlight what women wore on the streets and at events. social in the world’s fashion capitals. In the early 1960s, artistic renditions of trendy fashion dominated the front page as WWD began to promote a new ideal, embodied in the symbolic modernization of the social and political changes of the moment induced by young people. Gone are the stereotypical styles of fashion in visual and written form. Enter the individual styles of the fashion illustrators.

The renderings of these artists in the pages of WWD have continually captured the spirit of the times. The social and political commentary of the day came via illustrations that portray the new socialite celebrity, embodied by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. During this time, fashion sketches and artistic stage portraits by staff artists helped create and establish the celebrity designer’s new cult.

Steven Stipelman illustrates Jackie O buying sweaters in Halston on May 8, 1972.

Steven Stipelman illustrates Jackie O buying sweaters in Halston on May 8, 1972.
Fairchild Archives

These stylistic fantasies might not have seen the light of day without Block, who is considered one of the most influential fashion illustrators of the 20th century. Her signature “figure in the gesture” helped provide the catalyst for change in WWD’s visual representation of fashion and society. Block was accompanied by an A-list of talents that included Stipelman, Tunstull, Melendez, Passantino, Dorothy Loverro, Catherine Clayton Purnell, Ogawa, Rosenfeld and others. Each would document the history of fashion with an individual style.

When the company was based on East 12th Street in downtown Manhattan, 10 or more illustrators sat together in the same separate room in the editorial department, each working on their daily deadlines. The room crackled with competition and camaraderie, according to some former illustrators. Used to chasing the clock as part of their work, illustrators regularly wondered what they thought of their designs, Ogawa said. For new graduates, like Ogawa was when he first joined, “It was intense,” he said.

Former art director Andrew Flynn, who joined the company in 1978, said the illustrators sat along the edges of the room and it created a very creative atmosphere. “It wasn’t like the newsroom where everyone was typing madly. Publishers had to come back to this other world, ”he said.

While 10 a.m. was the official departure time, most, with the exception of the very early Passantino, arrived a little later, depending on the previous night’s festivities in the late seventies and eighties. twenty. But the majority had “phased in” by 11 a.m., Flynn said.

Best of New York Spring 1978, Calvin Klein, Bill Kaiserman for Raphael and Willie Wear by Willi Smith.  Illustration by Charles Boone.

Best of New York Spring 1978, Calvin Klein, Bill Kaiserman for Raphael and Willie Wear by Willi Smith. Illustration by Charles Boone.
Fairchild Archives

Most of the team, with the exception of Block and Stipelman, regularly worked from “sketches” provided by the designers and sometimes fabric samples, instead of drawing a live model. Borrowing from the French word for “sketch,” a sketch is a quick sketch of a fashion figure that serves as a blank canvas for drawing clothes.

After the sketches were completed each day, they were attached to a cardboard board with a digital stamp so that the print shop would know where the sketch belonged in the newspaper. Every day at 2:30 p.m., a driver stopped at the art department on the 12th floor to collect the sketches in manila envelopes. “If they weren’t ready it was a big deal because another car would have to be ordered later. And it was expensive, ”Flynn said.

Merle Thomason, who ran WWD’s Fashion Library for decades, recently recalled how fashion illustrators are among his best clients. “They needed my information more than anyone. If they needed to put something in the background of their drawings that was faithful to Rome, Paris or London, they would come and look at the albums. Animals, colors, trains, butterflies – name it, we had an album for that, ”she said. “They might say that an English lady often walks a dog, but they might need a special type of dog. [to draw]whether it’s a terrier, an afghan or a bulldog.

Considering how fashion illustrators elevated art on the printed pages of WWD and often the handwork of designers, Thomason said, “They made everything beautiful, not gloomy and dreary. A really good fashion illustrator can make a bad design look like a million dollars. But when a photographer takes a picture of it, it doesn’t.

Esteemed fashion illustrator Bil Donovan, who works for Dior Beauty, Saks Fifth Avenue and other fashion operations, named Block as WWD’s peerless talent. “He was the master and he held the throne as the king of illustration at Women’s Wear Daily,” he said, while praising Stipelman, Tunstull, Purnell and Loverro.

Several former WWD illustrators have taught at the New School’s Parsons School of Design and the Fashion Institute of Technology. Donovan took a course at Parsons taught by Meisel in the early 1980s, just before the latter embarked on a flourishing career in fashion photography. “His class was great… I went there and it was like a revolution. The models weren’t 30, 40 years old. They were beautiful. Steven had 19 and 20 year old children. They were hip and punks and New Waves. It was cool and that’s how he taught with that energy. It was all about the energy – throw the energy into the room, ”Donovan said.

“What is really important is that learning the stylization, selectivity and editing that comes with fashion illustration are valuable tools for creating illustrations outside of the fashion figure,” like creating an environment, a still life or a hotel room. Being able to use this information to style an illustration is invaluable. And it makes people think twice.

See also:

Working in a ‘Hive of Activity’: An Insider’s Perspective from Former Artistic Director Andrew Flynn

Kenneth Paul Block: an artist in a league of their own

Robert Melendez looks back at the art of live fashion sketching


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The Greek American who captured the zeitgeist in fashion illustration https://robertdejesus.com/the-greek-american-who-captured-the-zeitgeist-in-fashion-illustration/ https://robertdejesus.com/the-greek-american-who-captured-the-zeitgeist-in-fashion-illustration/#respond Sun, 24 May 2020 07:00:00 +0000 https://robertdejesus.com/the-greek-american-who-captured-the-zeitgeist-in-fashion-illustration/ Blogger Gina Moyer writes that fashion illustration has the “dexterity to freeze a moment in history through the prism of artistic style, attitudes reflecting the era and the latest fashion trends…” George Stavrinos (1948 -90) did much more than this. With his extraordinary craftsmanship and artistic genius, his work ventures into the fine arts, bringing […]]]>

Blogger Gina Moyer writes that fashion illustration has the “dexterity to freeze a moment in history through the prism of artistic style, attitudes reflecting the era and the latest fashion trends…” George Stavrinos (1948 -90) did much more than this. With his extraordinary craftsmanship and artistic genius, his work ventures into the fine arts, bringing fashion illustration out of the park.

Bradford Hamann, assistant professor of graphic design at Shepherd University, writes that Stavrinos revolutionized fashion illustration, proving that it could be “imbued with dramatic content, that it could be monumental, and that it could to be considered an “art” in the truest sense of the word. word.”

Stavrinos art is said to belong to super realism, a movement of the late 60s and early 70s in which art approaches the realism of photography. According to Hamann, this involved “such minute detail that he eventually came to use almost exclusively an F mechanical pencil.” His process began with hundreds of photographs of his model in various poses and at different focal lengths using a Polaroid SX-70. He then created an environment around the model that included a variety of shapes and materials, such as pottery, fans, lights, and various geometric patterns. His niece Cynthia Morakis Pursley had the privilege of drawing with her uncle and watching him work. She mainly remembers the time when he placed his model in his bathtub because he liked tiles as a background. Whatever his process, Stavrinos always created “a striking new look which set the tone for his contemporaries and continues to have an influence”. Judging from his work, it is clear that he considered illustration to be true art and that he went out of his way to make it so. His fine details suggest that he hasn’t underestimated his viewers and appreciated their appreciation of his work.

Stavrinos was born in Somerville, Massachusetts to Greek immigrants, who carved out a good life for themselves and their children. Her father ran the Sunrise Diner in South Boston, and her mother, an excellent seamstress, assembled soldiers’ uniforms during WWII. Their story was painful. To escape persecution and possibly death after repeated pogroms by Turkish irregulars and the Turkish army, they fled their homes on the Aegean coast of Asia Minor where the Greeks had lived for thousands of years. His father, Theophilos John Stavrinos, born in the town of Reis Dere near Smyrna, arrived in the United States in 1916 at the age of 16. George’s mother, Asemo Davazoglou, born in Alatsata, also near Smyrna, took her sick sister’s place on the ship to join her brothers, already settled in the Boston area. Both parents survived the 1914 pogrom and massacre in the region. Asemo’s family fled to the Greek island of Chios, with some members eventually coming to America, others settling in Chios, and others still moving to the island of Crete. It was in 1922, when millions of Greeks and Armenians in the region were slaughtered, that the family finally accepted the loss of their homeland, carrying that sense of loss for the rest of their lives.

Their children grew up typically Greek American. Family life revolved around the Dormition of the Virgin Mary Greek Orthodox Church in Somerville, where George served as an altar boy and took Greek language lessons, becoming fluent in Greek. His murals for plays and school competitions still adorn the walls of the church.

Being the youngest of seven children – five sisters and two brothers – with a difference of 21 years from his older sister, George did not suffer from a lack of attention. He was clearly and still is adored by his siblings, nephews and nieces, who miss him and hope to foster appreciation for his work. Surrounded by his art in their homes, George continues to be an important part of their life.

George’s nephew Theo Mitropoulos remembers him as a dedicated artist and a humorous, quick-witted, fun-loving guy with an impeccable taste for movies and restaurants. “My uncle was producing a lot of work every week. But he still had time to throw great parties and enjoy the New York club scene.

George’s skill and passion for drawing became evident as soon as he was able to wield a pencil and brush. Recognizing both his skill and his deep desire to draw, his large family spoiled him and encouraged him to pursue his talent. A Tiffany Foundation Fellow in New York, he studied graphic design at the Rhode Island School of Design, standing out as a star student. Accepted into a specialized program, he also spent a semester in Rome studying architecture and fashion design. From there he traveled to Crete, meeting the side of the family that had settled there, immersing himself in the study and drawing of the architectural elements of the Minoan palace of Knossos. It was here that family became more important to George, who often advised his nieces and nephews on the value of family.

After graduation, George spent time in Boston and Philadelphia, taking on various assignments, before eventually moving to New York City in 1973, creating illustrations for the travel section of The New York Times and its Sunday Magazine. In March 1974, her first fashion article appeared in The Times. As a freelance writer with Pushpin Studios he took on high end clients such as Bonwit Teller, Gentlemen’s Quarterly and Keio Stores in Japan. In 1977 he was hired by Barneys, a men’s fashion store in the process of dropping its low-cost branding and becoming a luxury store.

But as Hamann writes, it was at Bergdorf Goodman that Stavrinos “reached the stratosphere of the fashion world…” creating a compelling and dynamic graphic and brand identity for the iconic luxury retailer specializing in women’s fashion. In 1984, he created a series of character designs for the New York City Opera promotional campaign. It was to be the start of a new era in theater for George, as confirmed by his brother-in-law John Morakis; a new phase cut short by his illness and his premature death at the age of 42 from complications of AIDS.

In addition to fashion, Stavrinos has also designed book covers, most notably for a Gore Vidal mystery series, published under an alias. He has also contributed to LGBT art. His illustrations have been published in numerous gay magazines, including Christopher Street, Blueboy and Gay Source: A Catalog for Men. He has also illustrated the covers of gay poetry and prose books, including Paul Monette’s novel “Taking Care of Mrs Carroll”.

Despite his short life, George has created an astonishing amount of work. His talent and artistic versatility, along with a strong work ethic, has allowed for a prolific pace, a variety of media and a wide range of clients, without compromising the quality of his work or his unique artistic style. His sister Lydia remembers how hard he worked under pressure to meet deadlines. Always aiming high, Stavrinos was inspired by the best, including Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish and JC Leyendecker, three of the most prominent names in American illustration.

In 2007, his talent was posthumously commemorated when he was elected to the Society of Illustrators Hall of Fame. In 2013, the Museum of American Illustration featured his work in “The Vision of George Stavrinos,” an exhibition of over 100 illustrations showcasing his innate artistic ability and successful career.

The publishing world has not given Stavrinos the same kind of recognition, however. This lack of studies and publications may be due to the fact that although George’s work is scattered across various collections, no systematic or extensive public archive is readily available to students, faculty, and independent researchers.

Fortunately, Bradford Hamann’s published thesis, the source of most of the information in this article, provides excellent insight into the life and work of Stavrinos. Plus, countless testimonials across the web from fellow illustrators, friends and students pay homage to George’s spirit and talent, keeping his memory alive.

It is therefore not surprising that 30 years after his death, George Stavrinos continues to be heard, to influence and to inspire, while being adored and missed not only by his biological family, but by a huge family of admirers and fellow illustrators who still consider him one of the best.


Connie Mourtoupalas is curator and former president of the National Hellenic Museum in Chicago.


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Fashion illustration meets body art in Randa Haddadin’s work https://robertdejesus.com/fashion-illustration-meets-body-art-in-randa-haddadins-work/ https://robertdejesus.com/fashion-illustration-meets-body-art-in-randa-haddadins-work/#respond Wed, 08 Apr 2020 07:00:00 +0000 https://robertdejesus.com/fashion-illustration-meets-body-art-in-randa-haddadins-work/ Haddadin’s Instagram biography reads: “Part-time Architect / Astronaut.” It’s curious for someone whose art is so personal. “The part-time astronaut,” explains the artist, “is more of a metaphor for the worlds in which I travel through my imagination, like an astronaut. The very idea of ​​what’s going on beyond our planet fascinates me too, so […]]]>

Haddadin’s Instagram biography reads: “Part-time Architect / Astronaut.” It’s curious for someone whose art is so personal. “The part-time astronaut,” explains the artist, “is more of a metaphor for the worlds in which I travel through my imagination, like an astronaut. The very idea of ​​what’s going on beyond our planet fascinates me too, so maybe it is wishful thinking for what I might become in my next life!

Work of Randa Haddadin.Photo: Randa Haddadin / Courtesy of the photographer

As far back as she can remember, Haddadin has drawn and scribbled on herself. She first shared her efforts online in 2006 and was encouraged to keep going. The idea of ​​the permanence of art, summed up in the sentence Ars longa, vita brevis, is not what motivates Haddadin. On the contrary, she finds freedom knowing that her works are ephemeral, intended to be washed in the shower. “It allows me to focus only on the creative process itself; the lines, the feel of the pens on my skin at that point, without having to worry about the design later, keep it or sell it, like ordinary works of art, ”she explains. “The comfort of this ephemeral leaves me plenty of room to create without worry. The only thing I do to keep a memory of this piece of art is take a photo and share it with others.

“Adventure at the beach”, by Randa Haddadin.Photo: Randa Haddadin / Courtesy of the photographer

Some of Haddadin’s estimated 162,000 followers are so enthusiastic that some have tattooed his designs on their skin; others try to recreate his creations in a less permanent way. The artist works with a non-toxic ink pen, body paint, and different types of makeup, materials she believes are gentle on the skin.

“Shades of Blue”, by Randa Haddadin.Photo: Randa Haddadin / Courtesy of the photographer

Haddadin cites Santiago Calatrava as one of his favorite architects, and there is a certain correspondence between the lacy geometry of his line and the lightness of his soaring structures. Not a fanciful, she defines herself as a “moody and emotional artist” who creates “light but intense work.” I’d like to think that makes you smile and think every now and then, ”she says.


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