Post War Fashion Illustration and the Artists of today
5 april 2023
Digby hall , hound street, sherborne at 3 pm and 7 pm
As the world emerged from WWII and Christian Dior introduced his revolutionary ‘New Look’ in 1947, fashion illustration became pivotal to the success of a fashion industry that had struggled to survive the war years in Europe. Drawn by the masters of fashion illustration, their art dominated the front covers and pages of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar with their gloriously chic interpretations of the latest looks from the haute couture houses of Paris and London. Traditionally considered to be commercial art, this genre of art is now understood to be part of a lost school of Fine Art. Discover in this lecture the most influential names in post war fashion illustration, their differing approaches to documenting fashion for the stylish reader and why these remarkable fashion artists were trendsetters of their time.
With a background in fashion and broadcasting, Connie Gray is a specialist in the history of 20th century fashion illustration and its powerful legacy with both the most influential fashion publications internationally and the great couture houses of Paris, London and New York. She is regularly invited to lecture both in the UK and the US and sits on advisory boards at The Courtauld Institute of Art, London and Special Collections at FIT, New York. As a curator and archivist, she works closely with institutions and foundations on acquisitions, conservation and exhibition projects. She has been invited to curate specialist exhibitions including most recently Legends Only at Claridge’s Hotel, London in 2022 and 100 Years of Fashion Illustration at The Society of Illustrators, New York. Other specialist exhibitions have included Cunard’s Transatlantic Fashion Cruise on their flagship ship Queen Mary 2 to celebrate London and New York fashion weeks. As the lead curator for the art gallery Gray M.C.A, she curates the acclaimed exhibition Drawing on Style each year that celebrates the masters of fashion illustration alongside running comprehensive lecture programmes that accompany the exhibitions in London and New York. During the Covid19 pandemic period she wrote and presented a series of on-line masterclasses, talks and short films on the subject of fashion illustration that regularly attracted audiences of over 800 people during each live event.