Fashion illustrator David Downton at the V&A

If you’ve read My Style you’ll know that fashion illustration is an absolute passion of mine.

                               
                         Linda Evangelista by David Downton, Artists Collection.

I adore artists like Rene Gruau whose timeless illustrations have graced campaigns for fashion houses like Givenchy and Dior, and Alberto Vargas and his curve-a-licious 1940s pin-up girls. Tabs and I sometimes take inspiration from vintage fashion illustration for our Project D London designs so one of the highlights of my London trip was renowned fashion illustrator David Downton’s excellent talk at the V&A.

                         
                         A snapshot of the V&A. Majestic! ©V&A Images.

The V&A is the most beautiful building, so whether a local or tourist, it is definitely worth a visit.

                         
                          Erin O’Connor by David Downton, Artists Collection.

The talk was the same day as I arrived back in London so I whisked straight from the airport to drop off my luggage, stopped just long enough to pick up Tabs, then it was off to the V&A for a perfect girlie reunion outing.

                                
                         Masters of Fashion Illustration by David Downton.

David’s talk coincided with the launch of his book, ‘Masters of Fashion Illustration' and covered some of the history behind the world's great fashion illustrators, focusing on those who influenced his own career and how he broke into the industry. Since first covering the Paris couture shows for the UK's Financial Times newspaper in 1996, he has made portraits of some of the world's most striking women including supermodels Linda Evangelista, Erin O'Connor and Italian fashion writer Anna Piaggi.

                        
                        Anna Piaggi by David Downton, Artists Collection.

It’s fascinating to hear an illustrator talk through pieces of his own work and to hear the little stories and anecdotes behind working with these style icons, chic fashion publications like Vogue, Harpers Bazar, and fashion houses like Christian Dior and Chanel.

                         
                         Striking a pose with master fashion illustrator David Downton.

David was such an engaging and entertaining speaker. His stories brought another dimension to his perfect illustrations. He signed copies of Masters of Fashion Illustration for Tabs and me and I will be adding mine to my cherished collection of fashion books as soon as I return to Melbourne.

Do you have a favourite fashion illustrator or photographer? Tweet me @DanniiMinogue.

Join the V&A for free entry to exhibitions, previews, special events and access to the V&A Members’ Room.

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