David Downton - Illustrator - Page 3 - the Fashion Spot
How to Join
Eat me, drink me
two months off's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Costa Rica
Gender: femme
Posts: 1,161
^ those are very nice

Three inches is such a wretched height to be!
  Reply With Quote
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: New York
Gender: femme
Posts: 6
his illustration is wonderful!
i love his use with watercolor and gouache (i think it is)

his work inspires me, love it!

  Reply With Quote
backstage pass
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: TO
Gender: femme
Posts: 508
British Vogue showed some of his illustrations in their new December issue! I recognized it immediately... his work is so distinct, yet so simple. I'll try to scan later on today if anyone's interested.

  Reply With Quote
erinina's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: new york city
Gender: femme
Posts: 68
i like it too - its very clear he's inspired by antonio.

seven hundred and seventy-seven times lovlier than anything i've ever seen

  Reply With Quote
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: norcal / the philippines
Gender: homme
Posts: 5,471
fantastic. i like the feel of his work and the absence of hard edges and borders ... they just seem to just flow, which i imagine is how he works as well. beautiful.

... they lived and laughed and loved and left ...
pseudo-oz~ tintin!
  Reply With Quote
fashion icon
justlooking's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: peter pan land
Gender: femme
Posts: 3,233
to develop a recognisable style that people can recognise you by...that's so admirable even if this isn't "great art." (great art as in traditional, Rembrandt brilliance etc). This is a beautiful thread, thank you.

  Reply With Quote
luxmode's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2004
Gender: femme
Posts: 1,661
I have a love/hate attitude toward David's work. I definitely prefer his sparer images. I found these on his site: www.daviddownton.com

Susie Bick

Jade Parfitt

Jasmine Guinness

Selina Blow

  Reply With Quote
front row
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 391
Originally Posted by stilettogirl84
I suppose its not really you know "great art"
Huh, wha? Says who, I think this is indeed 'great art'. I'd really like to know what your definition of 'great art' is. This takes extreme talent too.

  Reply With Quote
stilettogirl84's Avatar
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Middle America
Gender: femme
Posts: 4,777
no offense meant!

I like his work- I was just thinking it's more like an illustrater or a cartoonist

Yes I know I've misspelled everything... ask me if I care
  Reply With Quote
The future is stupid
MissMagAddict's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 25,684
Source | The New York Times | November 30, 2007 | On the Runway


Q & A David Downtown by Cathy Horyn

I first met David Downton maybe five years ago at a showing of his drawings in Paris. His subject was Erin O’Connor. You might say David, who is English, has an obsession with Erin’s long neck and lines. Well, she was meant for charcoal. Shortly after that meeting, I asked him to sketch a Dior couture dress in the studio, for a story about the making of a collection. Our link then and now was our admiration for the work of Joe Eula, and a fascination with the man. I got to know Joe well and in the last years of his life we worked together on a number of illustrated articles for the Times, including one about the denizens of the back track at Belmont. This past January, at the Dior show, David told me he was planning to bring out a magazine of fashion illustration and asked if I’d write something about Joe. Issue #1 of Pourquoi Pas? has drawings by Rene Gruau, Eula, Richard Gray, Jason Brooks, with illustrations by David of Amanda Harlech, Jade Parfitt, and Carmen Dell’ Orefice. Among the writers contributing are Sarah Mower, Tony Glenville and Tim Blanks. The 72-page magazine is on heavy stock, costs about $40, and is available at pqpmagazine.com. David and I chatted by phone a few days ago.

CH: So how did Pourquoi Pas? come about?
I thought about Vanity, obviously, and Gazette du Bon Ton. I really began thinking, ‘Wouldn’t it be great?” Photography is everywhere. It has just dominated. It’s almost strangled the life out of drawing in mainstream magazines. You can still see fashion illustration—on club flyers, in galleries, on leaflets, occasionally in advertising. But what you don’t really see is the classic thing of drawing used in conjunction with photography in those high-end magazines. I just felt like waving the flag.

Q: Did you think you’d do a one-shot?
A: My initial thought was to do two issues a year for three years, so I could build up the magazine. I wanted a magazine and not an illustrators’ directory or an album of drawings. I wanted it to have a design. And I didn’t want advertising, which is possibly the stupidest thing ever. But I knew that whoever advertised in it would instantly change the tone of the magazine. I thought, “For once, this is my thing.” I generally react to what people want me to do. You wag the tail when the phone rings. But this kind of thing is like being an art director. It was so exciting to be in charge. Naturally [laughs], I didn’t think it through.

Q: So how did you finance it?
A: Entirely out of my pocket. Lucky I’m loaded, I say! I had my best year ever, doing the magazine. But I wouldn’t fund it again by myself.
A sketch of the model Erin O’Connor in an embroidered gown with obelisk sleeves. (David Downton)

Q: How many copies did you print?
We did 1,500. We sold 1,000 in the first three and a half weeks. The V & A sold out and reordered 200.

Q: You know, I was thinking how Eula used to accompany Eugenia Sheppard to the shows in Paris and sketch—the immediacy and intimacy of his paper and pencil. And, of course, now we have sites like the Sartorialist, which does such a good job documenting the fashion scene and what people wear. But how cool would it be to have an entirely illustrated fashion blog—really using the point of view of the illustrator and obviously in reverse of the way everything is done digitally.
It’s never been a better time to be a fashion illustrator. Because, in fact, there is no universal style; there’s no prescribed way of working today. At one time there was a kind of over-arching style. When Gruau was drawing, everybody kind of drew like him. He put a stamp on an era, and there is no stamp on now. I do think the best ever at what you might call reportage—going behind enemy lines, so to speak—is Kenneth Paul Block of Women’s Wear. He used the space well and the drawings are all right.

They’re anatomically right, which is the starting point. But he has exaggerated them, pulled them out, made them dynamic. He also put a stamp on an era, because everybody drew like him, including Steven Meisel.

Q: I suppose I just like the idea of one person’s point of view, a kind of narrative in drawings. And if you have access to the studios and backstage…
A: I agree. Because even the best photographers at the shows are in a holding pen. They’re all taking the same picture. Backstage has changed so much in the last 10 years. Backstage is now just a prelude to the performance. I always think it must be dreadful for the designers. They’ve got cameras and TV crews pointed at them, and it’s more and more and more. Look at the backstage at Dior. There isn’t a cigarette paper you can get between the TV crews.

Q: When in your opinion was the last good illustration magazine?
In the 80s, Anna Piaggi did Vanity. Antonio did most of the covers. His drawings look amazing.

Q: It’s odd, though, that the quality of art direction seemed to seriously slip in the 80s.
I think that’s one of the great progresses we’ve made recently. If you look back to Brodovitch—which everybody does—you kind of feel, “Well, we’ve learned nothing.” Brodovitch had it all sorted out, then. But I do think that Fabien Baron, coming along when he did, is very much of that ilk.

There’s probably a 40-year gap between the times when we’ve talked about art directors. I’m sure there will be people who will disagree.

Q: Magazines used to have a different attitude toward an illustrator or a photographer’s original work. A lot of pictures were lost or casually given away to people. What about Rene Gruau? Was he more careful about preserving his work?
I think he was much more careful but, also, he was celebrated from the beginning of Dior. He was a friend of Christian Dior’s and he went in after the war and he illustrated the first collection. By then, he was in his thirties and had been down all the blind alleys. And it was a postwar thing—with that great optimism of the New Look and all the stuff we now mythologize.

It’s Gruau who is the poet of the New Look, much more for me than any of the photographers. His sort of grand manner and flourish just sort of chimed with the style.

But it’s puzzled me that everybody in France who knows of Gruau doesn’t also know Bouche or Eric. And I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because Gruau worked way beyond the confines of fashion illustration. He got out of the box, and the box was those amazing magazines. If you looked in Vogue, you’d see 10 pages of Eric, who worked for 30 years, and gradually it would sink in that he was a Vogue artist. But Gruau was a poster artist, he was a fine artist. He did drawings for the Lido. He kind of went into the national psyche. As great as those other illustrators were, they didn’t beyond the relatively few people who read fashion magazines. Gruau just saw the worth. Supposedly he was driven around in a Rolls Royce with a G on it. He was grander than the designers.

Q: What’s your background? How did you start?
I went to Canterbury. I was a very bad student because I was a good artist—or, so I thought. I was encouraged as a child to believe I was really great, and I really believed that until I got to college and saw that everybody could do what I could do. It was a terrible moment! [laughs] That took me into a slow decline. I turned petulant. As we say over here, I threw my toys out of the pram! In the end, though, it served me well. I did 10 years as a jobbing illustrator. I just took anything that anyone asked me to do. I didn’t have a focus—certainly nothing to do with fashion. I did kids’ books, I did a sex manual, I did romantic fiction, menu cards, album sleeves. The lowest point was I used to illustrate math textbooks.

Q: And when did you start drawing fashion?
In 1996, I did something for the Financial Times. And then the next week they said, “Oh, do you want to go to Paris and do the couture shows?” I had never seen a fashion show, but I did get the small print—“paid trip to Paris.” And so I just went. The first thing I saw was a Versace couture show at the Ritz. It was the Kate-Linda-Naomi moment. I couldn’t believe any of it. I had to draw Valentino at the Ritz. I just saw it as hilarious and wonderful. I didn’t understand the codes. But now I see it as a few days in the kingdom of indulgence with a pass that they take away when you leave.

Last edited by MissMagAddict; 01-12-2007 at 03:25 PM.
  Reply With Quote
kasper!'s Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2007
Gender: homme
Posts: 4,609
I fell in love with his work at once after seeing his work at Vogue China......
They are haute couture pics

btw..my first post in Art&Design

  Reply With Quote
backstage pass
Hana_N's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Denmark
Gender: femme
Posts: 762
Just thought I'd post the link to his magazine Pourquoi Pas?


The interviews are quite interesting reads.

Your right to wear a mint-green polyester leisure suit ends where it meets my eye - Fran Lebowitz
  Reply With Quote
Spring of Córdoba
ParadEyes's Avatar
Join Date: May 2005
Gender: femme
Posts: 3,106
he is the best.

Nostalgia is a seductive liar.
  Reply With Quote
front row
neonsprinkles's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: NYC
Gender: homme
Posts: 280
I love his work, very inspiration and one of the very few fashion illustrators who continue today!

  Reply With Quote
rising star
marus's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Toronto
Gender: homme
Posts: 166
His works are so AWESOME! I love them!

à la mode
  Reply With Quote
Previous Thread | Next Thread »

david, downton, illustrator
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

monitoring_string = "058526dd2635cb6818386bfd373b82a4"

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:24 AM.
Powered by vBulletin®
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
TheFashionSpot.com is a property of TotallyHer Media, LLC, an Evolve Media LLC company. ©2018 All rights reserved.