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Fashion is a prominent visual art industry that emanates from an aesthetically articulated visual message that demands persistent leading edge creativity. Graphic designers have been involved with various aspects of the fashion industry since the early twentieth century. Not only they have developed fashion advertising , catalogs, and other graphic artwork that may eventually had made their ways onto fashion, but also created illustration that have been used by various fashion houses as their main source of creativity. Graphic designers of fashion have represented the core values of their brand while pushing boundaries and expectations.
Fashion illustrators, in general, work very closely with fashion designers and art directors to create artistic visual images, which are basically sophisticated, and elegant drawings aimed to represent a particular clothing line. A fashion illustrator is technically a graphic designer who creates integrated in print ads, television commercials, and online advertisements. They have to create designs for garments, shoes, fashion accessories, and other apparels, and to actualize the vision of the fashion designers by illustrating the actual design plan. They have to create sketch drawings and layouts that will be used in catalogs, magazines, brochures, flyers, commercials and other advertising media, which communicate fashion ideas. Often seen as a showcase relationship for a design studio, the seasonal nature of the end product provides a limitless testing ground for new ideas and innovative production solutions.
René Gruau was born in Rimini, Italy, in 1909 as Renato Conte de Savagli-Ricardelli to a family of aristocrats. When he was only three years old his French mother Maria Gruau de la Chesnaie, separated from René 's father, an Italian count. While still a teenager, in 1923, he made fashion sketches which were accepted by German, French and Italian magazines. René took the maiden name of his mother, who was an artist, and they moved to Paris, in 1924.
Gruau worked for many patrons including Balmain, Givenchy, Schiaparelli, Jacques Fath and Edward Molyneux, and also for suppliers of top-quality textiles, cars and brandy. He did ballet sets and costumes. . In 1940, he settled in Lyon, and his drawings of elegant women, in bold, rhythmic, colorful designs were published in magazines such as Marie Claire, Femina, L'Officiel and Le Magazine de Figaro. During the long period spanning between 1946 to 1984 he collaborated with the magazine International Textiles. and from 1955 onwards, he turned to fashion advertising through photography of fashion accessories, gloves, perfume, cosmetics, lingerie,fabrics and so on. But, above all, it was Gruau's creative collaboration with Christian Dior, starting with Dior's New Look in 1947 and terminating in the late 1990s, that critically influenced his work and his reputation.
According to the fashion designer John Galliano; Gruau "captured Dior's style and spirit better than any other because he understood his long-term friend... for me a Gruau sketch captures the energy, the sophistication and daring of Dior, and equally is testimony to an enduring friendship." He was inspired by the Japanese kabuki theater, and woodcuts, which influenced his motif on a ground of flat tone, using broad, flowing brushstroke, pen, Indian ink and gouache. In 1989, a René Gruau Exhibition was held at the Musée du Costume at the Palais Galliera in Paris. His work is in national museums and galleries, including the Louvre, as well as in numerous private collections. He died in 2004.
Erté was born Romain de Tirtoff, in 1892 to a wealthy family in St. Petersburg , Russia. His father was an Admiral in the Imperial Russian Navy, but despite the tradition of the Russian military he did not like to follow his father profession. As a young boy, he was fascinated by the Persian miniatures he found in his father's library and he became interested in graphic design and fashion. The impact of the exquisite art of the Persian miniatures with their vibrant colors and sophisticated ornamental designs stimulated Romain's artistic talent and continued to be an important inspiration source for him, influencing the development of his style. He designed his first costume at the age of 5 and then moved to Paris in 1912 at the age of 18.
In Paris he assume the name of Erté, from the French pronunciation of his initials, R and T, and apprenticed beside Parisian designer Paul Poiret as a graphic designer for fashion, learning the art of couture. His long relationship with Harper's Bazaar, began in 1915, where he created over 240 covers for the magazine. During the 1920s, Erté became a renowned fashion designer whose work also appeared in many other publications. His designed the dresses of many film actresses such as Joan Crawford, Lillian Gish, Marion Davies, Anna Pavlova, Norma Shearer and others. He also designed costumes and sets for New York’s Radio City Music Hall, the Casino de Paris and the Paris Opera, as well as for the Folies-Bergères and George White’s Scandals. In 1976 the French government awarded him the title of Officer of Arts and Letters, and in 1982 he was awarded the Medaille de Vermeil de la Ville de Paris. His work is in many prominent museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He died in 1990, at the age 97.
Samson And Delila
Kenneth Paul Block, was a renowned fashion illustrator whose graceful strokes captured the elegance of gloved, gowned and form-fit-suited women of the 1950s and then the more daring, fluid look of later decades. His early drawings were mostly done in charcoal. To bring a more emphatic look to his later work, he shifted to colored pencil, watercolors and even black markers. Before his death in 2009, he donated 1,844 of his illustrations to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
For nearly 40 years, starting in the mid-1950s, Kenneth Block was an illustrator for Women’s Wear Daily and later for W magazine as well, both published by Fairchild Publications. At Women’s Wear Daily, Block was chief features artist working with other notable illustrators like Steven Stipelman, Anneliese Kapp and Robert Melendez. Fairchild closed its fashion illustration department in 1992.
From early assignments sketching women in their bonnets on Easter Sunday, Kenneth Blockwent on to pose ladies of the social elite. Among the celebrities he sketched were Lauren Bacall, Barbra Streisand, Loretta Young, Sophia Loren and Catherine Deneuve. He sought what he considered the essence of illustrating style, the gesture: the way a woman drapes a coat over her shoulder; tilts her head; crosses her legs; swings her skirt; and, back in the ’50s, would hold a cigarette. adapted to changing times, from the ladylike tone of the ’50s to the cultural quakes of the ’60s and ’70s