When we think of 70′s fashion, one of the names that comes to mind is legendary fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez. The Puerto Rico-born artist was an ubiquitous presence on the NYC and Paris scenes and is said to have discovered model Jerry Hall as well as style icon Grace Jones. His illustrations were elegant and lively and often had a moody vibe that was perfect for fashion.
Antonio Lopez in Paris, 1971
Whenever we think about fashion illustration, our mind is immediately awash with images by Rene Gruau. The Italian-born artist essentially defined elegance on paper during the 1940s and 1950s. Known most for his work for the House of Dior, Gruau’s illustrations were also found in just about all of the major fashion glossies of the era, like Marie Claire and L’Officiel. His signature painterly hand gave his work a distinct, lively quality that was much different from the illustrations of many of his contemporaries, who tended more towards a static presentation. Take a quick spin through fashion and any upscale, luxury-driven campaigns in almost any print magazine, and you will find Gruau’s influence front and center. Below, some of our favorite Gruau illustrations.
"The Beautiful: Illustrations for Fashion and Style", amazon.com
One of the things that is most compelling about the world of fashion is the myriad of ways that mood, atmosphere and attitude can be expressed. Photography is the most immediate medium, with shooters like Richard Avedon, Herb Ritts and Hemut Newton having long since cemented their places as among the most celebrated artists of the 20th Century. But often overlooked by all but the die-hard stylephiles, is fashion illustration. Artists like Rene Gruau, Antonio Lopez and Jean Cocteau brought a whimsy and lyricism to fashion that is sometimes difficult to fully capture on film. Here are a few of the most gorgeous fashion illustration books on the shelves. Flipping through them reminds us of why we fell in love with fashion.
"100 Years of Fashion Illustration", amazon.com
"Fashion Illustration: 1930-1970", amazon.com
"Masters of Fashion Illustration", amazon.com