4 posts tagged "Antonio Lopez"
Last night in London, Christie’s South Kensington auction house played host to an exhibition and discussion orchestrated by the Fashion Illustration Gallery (FIG). And while the audience sat through the Issa London-sponsored talk, whose panel included Christie’s Meredith Etherington-Smith, illustrator David Downton (whose work is pictured above, top left), and Style.com’s Tim Blanks, they were left wondering: Should astute art investors buy up fashion illustration in the same way the world should have snatched up early Basquiat or Koons? “Before Andy Warhol was Andy Warhol, he was a fashion illustrator,” said Etherington-Smith. “Fifty years ago, the art world debated whether photography was a bona fide art form, and the same is happening now with fashion illustration. I believe there is no doubt fashion illustration is an art, but a vastly underappreciated one.”
The art on display last night represented the old guard like Cecil Beaton, Antonio Lopez (above, bottom left), and Andy Warhol, as well as such new talents as Gary Card (above, top right), Zoë Taylor (above, bottom right), and Tanya Ling. Strange bedfellows? Not according to Downton. “Some of the younger fashion illustrators out there are the most skilled draftsmen,” he said. “They very much should take their place alongside the great artists of days gone.”
Among the questions thrown out to an audience that included Suzy Menkes, Camilla Al Fayed, and Susie Bubble: Will fashion illustration ever be accepted as an art form? And will magazine editors ever replace celebs for illustrations? Downton, perhaps, answered these queries best. “The illustration I did a few years back of Cate Blanchett for Australian Vogue was, against all odds, the fastest-selling issue of the year. It also won the Maggie’s Magazine Cover of the Year. After that, there was no doubt for me that there is a place in the art world for fashion illustration.”
FIG’s exhibition at Christie’s South Kensington runs through December 19.
Antwerp’s A Magazine has always been much more than a magazine. The key to its cultish allure lies in the subtitle: Curated by. The first issue, in 2004, was curated by Martin Margiela, the most recent by Rodarte. And in between, the likes of Yohji Yamamoto, Haider Ackermann, Riccardo Tisci, and Proenza Schouler have corralled their favorite photographers, artists, and writers to make A Magazine.
Issue Number 12, which launches at Bookmarc during Paris Fashion Week, belongs to Stephen Jones, fashion’s favorite hatter. “I like a magazine that looks like a magazine,” he said yesterday. “It’s not a book. I didn’t want it to be page after page of slightly meaningless photographs. That’s why I thought illustration. I love illustration, I draw every day. And that’s the way designers communicate, through drawing.”
Jones’ choice of medium couldn’t be more timely, with the revival of interest in the work of Antonio Lopez and the spotlight that Anna Piaggi’s recent death threw on Vanity, the mythic magazine she produced with Antonio in the eighties. Piaggi was a close friend of Jones’. It was actually Vanity that brought them together. (Jones’ single interaction with Antonio was when he asked if he could see the picture the artist was drawing of him. Antonio crumpled it, threw it in the trash, and offered a flat “No!”). And Jones sees this current project as a kind of tribute to his late friend and inspiratrice.
There’s no theme, unusual for Jones, whose hat collections usually revolve around a story. “When I saw the work coming in, it was very much about the illustrators themselves.” The roster of talent includes David Downton, one of whose pet subjects, Dita Von Teese, models accessories semi-naked and centerfold-style; Peter Turner, Galliano’s illustrator at Dior, who contributes a story on men’s underwear (Jones advertises, “Entirely gratuitous nudity”); and the legendary Howard Tangye, head of womenswear at Central Saint Martins, who illustrates spring for A Magazine‘s pullout calendar.
Jones’ sole brief to the illustrators was that they could draw whatever they wanted. At least half the images are of hats. “It’s you, Stephen,” they told him when he complained that he wanted his magazine to be about everything. He had to shut up and take the compliment. Anyway, there’s always Donald Urquhart’s images of Leigh Bowery to balance the hattage. He drew them with his own genitalia, dipped in ink.
Jones’ own contribution is a selection of ten favorite drawings, which he spent the Christmas holiday picking out of the thousands he’s made since he launched himself as a milliner in 1979. There are also some “conversations in drawing”: Jones would send Mugler or Montana or Kawakubo a suggestion to accessorize a collection, they’d send it back with comments. He’s also included drawings from industrial designers like Zaha Hadid and Marc Newson, as well as some of Raf Simons’ college work. None of it has been seen before.
“I did try to feel like, ‘Think Pink,’ ” says Jones of his guest stint as a magazine editor. “Editing things down is what an editor does. I wanted to edit things up, make it a fantastic showcase. I didn’t want to be restricted by this season’s story. But I didn’t want to be timeless, either. Always what’s interesting for me is doing an amazing hat for Marc or Raf, but then making a baseball cap for a young Japanese guy who comes into the shop. I love variety. That’s what the magazine is about.”
Click here for an exclusive preview of a few illustrations from A Magazine Curated by Stephen Jones >
Sixty years ago, Gaby Aghion founded Chloé, the French label instrumental in the inception of ready-to-wear. Not only did the brand help launch the careers of Karl Lagerfeld, Martine Sitbon, Stella McCartney, and Phoebe Philo—all of whom took their turn at the house’s creative helm—but it revolutionized women’s relationship with luxury clothing.
In celebration of Chloé’s six-decade milestone, the brand has unearthed its archive (which was only developed after current designer Clare Waight Keller took the reigns last year) for Chloé Attitudes, a retrospective at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo. Curated by Judith Clark, the show—the first exhibition dedicated entirely to Chloé in the brand’s history—will feature 80 dresses by each of the house’s nine designers; sketches by Lagerfeld and Antonio Lopez; and photographs captured by the likes of Helmut Newton and David Lynch.
“I thought the exhibition needed to surprise the visitor as much as I was surprised looking at the archive,” Clark says of her approach, which plays vintage pieces off inspirations and influences to offer context: Floral looks will be displayed against a backdrop of the floral yellow tiles from Saint Germain’s Brasserie Lipp, where Aghion held the first Chloé fashion show and went often, for example, or Lagerfeld’s beaded shower dress installed beneath an actual silver showerhead, which, spouting crystals, magnifies the surreal nature of the design. Naturally, Lagerfeld’s famed violin dress, as well as Lopez’s iconic rendering of the frock, is included, along with Stella McCartney’s racy 2001 pineapple-print bathing suit, Hannah MacGibbon’s popular leather shorts and cape ensemble, and a selection of headpieces Clark had borrowed from the late Anna Piaggi. Unexpected elements of the past, like afro hairstyles that Angelo Seminara pulled from a seventies-era runway show or a wheat display case inspired by the Fall 2009 ad campaign (left), run throughout, offering a comprehensive glance into the house’s legacy.
The celebration will also have legs online with Chloé Alphabet, a digital interface that showcases select images from the archive, as well as five short films by Poppy de Villeneuve, Julie Verhoeven, Kathryn Ferguson, Stéphanie Di Giusto, and Mary Clerté. And come February, the brand will be reissuing limited editions of 16 iconic pieces, like the abovementioned violin dress and the Paddington bag.
Chloé Attitudes runs September 29 to November 18 at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, www.palaisdetokyo.com.
Now on view at the Society of Illustrators, in association with the Leslie/Lohman Gay Arts Foundation, The Line of Fashion pays tribute to some of the most venerable names in illustration, including Antonio Lopez (more on him in our Jerry Hall piece), Kenneth Paul Block, and René Bouché. Spanning nearly a century of work, the group exhibition focuses primarily on the medium’s heyday—the fifties, sixties, and seventies—a fact not lost on participant Michael Vollbracht. “It’s still necessary to promote fashion illustration,” the ex-Bill Blass designer explained at Friday evening’s launch. “It is a dying art, I’m sorry to say.” While photography may have supplanted drawing in print adverts and fashion spreads, fiscally speaking at least, Vollbracht thinks it might be in a couple of his former employers’ best interests to revert back to the old model. “I’m very surprised that with the terrible downturn of the economy more stores like Bendel’s and Bloomingdale’s and Saks don’t use fashion illustrators,” he said. “If you have no money to pay that model and no money to pay Steven Meisel…”
The Line of Fashion, through May 2 at the Society of Illustrators, 128 E. 63rd St., NYC.