Masters of Fashion Illustration (Paperback)

By David Downton

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  • Paperback
  • 200 Colour illustrations
  • 224 pages
  • 292 x 220
  • ISBN 9781856698399
  • Published September 2012

This lavishly illustrated and beautifully designed book celebrates the colourful lives and dazzling work of the great twentieth-century fashion illustrators, as chosen by one of today’s leading fashion artists, David Downton.

With a foreword by the legendary model Carmen Dell’Orefice, the book follows the careers of Downton’s favourite artists, from the great social portraitist of the belle époque, Giovanni Boldini, to the architect of 1980s’ New Wave glamour, Tony Viramontes (including along the way such celebrated names as Erté, Carl Erickson, René Bouché, Andy Warhol and Antonio Lopez).

The book concludes with a portfolio of David Downton’s own work, featuring drawings of the Paris haute couture shows and portraits of contemporary icons such as Dita Von Teese and Erin O’Connor. Many of the stunning images in Masters of Fashion Illustration have not been seen since they were first published.

About the Author

Over the last decade, David Downton has gained a reputation as one of the world’s leading fashion artists. His classically elegant, yet highly contemporary images have been a strong factor in the resurgence of interest in fashion illustration. Having originally trained in graphics, David’s natural ability with the human form, spontaneous approach and economy of line rapidly led to a hugely successful career working with, among others, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, V magazine, Chanel, Tiffany’s New York, Van Cleef & Arpels, Harrods, TopShop, Lancôme and the V&A Museum.

'A master fashion illustrator.'  VOGUE

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FOREWORD by Carmen Dell'Orefice


Giovanni Boldini / J.C. Leyendecker / Gazette Artists / Étienne Drian / Erté


Carl Erickson / Marcel Vertès / Francis Marshall / Bernard Blossac / Tom Keogh


Coby Whitmore / Bob Peak / Andy Warhol


René Bouché / Kenneth Paul Block / Antonio Lopez / Tony Viramontes


Portfolio of David Downton's own work:

Fashion / Portraits

'More than just a coffee table book (although it's certainly beautiful enough to be), this is an opportunity to learn about the world of fashion illustration through tthe eyes of one of the genre's contemporary legends.'
Vogue UK

'This tome is a lavish collection of Downton's favourite fashion artists, from little known names to art legends such as David Hockney and Andy Warhol. We are also treated to an expert glimpse into the world of fashion illustration with a 36-page portfolio of the artist's own work. Santa take note, we've firmly added Downton's book to our Christmas wish-list'.
Louise Donovan, Glamour UK magazine.

'David Downton is an outstanding illustrator, drawing exquisite, stripped back, fluid and endlessly elegant fashion illustrations. [This book] packs a powerful and impossibly chic punch. It is indeed an absolute pleasure, with each picture telling its own story, drawing you into a particular time and place captured so well by brilliantly talented draughtsmen.'
Lizzi Zita, My Fashion Review

'Like all the best masters of this curious hyrid genre, [Downton's] work prompts yet another question: is it true art or mere illustration? Certainly, he is able to capture the very essence of fashion - so often regarded as the most elusive of art forms - and as such deserves to stand the test of time in an otherwise ephemeral age'
Justine Picardie, Stella magazine

'Downton, one of today's leading fashion illustrators, completes his compilation with a selection of his own contemporary work, proving that the often forgotten art of fashion illustration is still alive.'
The Telegraph Fashion online

'The passion from David Downton's informative writing style is contagious and there is a wonderful interview of him included. There is also a stunning gallery of Downton's own work, which demonstrates clearly why he himself has been called a 'master fashion illustrator' by fashion bible Vogue.'
The Fashion Fairy

'Delve through the book and you'll see that Downton has impeccable, elegant taste. His selection is a mix of the well-known and relatively obscure - many of the images have been reproduced here for the first time since their original publication. If you're looking for a comprehensive overview of fashion illustration, you may be better off buying 100 Years of Fashion Illustration (Cally Blackman, also published by Laurence King), however if you want to be reintroduced to some old faces and become acquainted with the new masters, then this beaultifully laid out book is worth buying'.
Antonio Lopez, The Licentiante magazine

'If you are learning to sketch, I highly recommend investing in a book like this. I hope you fall in love with the masters the way I did!'
Inslee Review