Even the most glamorous styles start out as a sketch. To coincide with London Fashion Week, Gray MCA Gallery is hosting Drawing on Style, a selling exhibition that puts 40 years of fashion illustration in the spotlight. From original drawings by Christian Dior of his elegant ’40s New Look to psychedelic renderings of ’70s Pucci prints, the works provide a colorful view of the first draft of fashion history.
Fashion illustrations filled the pages of glossy magazines, like Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, until studio photography took over. The names of the best illustrators were never well known, but their work would’ve been instantly recognizable to readers. Since they were seen as mere sketches, often done on cheap paper, art directors would often toss original illustrations in the trash after they’d made their print run, as curator Connie Gray points out in a recent interview with the Telegraph.
Gray, a collector and gallerist, fell in love with the medium when she inherited a trove of fashion illustrations from her art dealer father. He could never find a place to exhibit them, undervalued as they were, and would hang them up at home instead, including in Gray’s childhood bedroom. Now, along with more works Gray collected from L.A. and Germany over several years, the collection is finally getting a moment in the sun.
The pieces at MCA are selling from $486 to $16,227.
[h/t the Telegraph]