My interest in designer Edward Molyneux [b. 1891, d. 1974] was ignited by my friendship with Pati Hill. Before Pati’s death in 2014, I had only known that she once modeled for fashion magazines and French ateliers back in the 1940s… I must credit my friends Nicole and Richard in their very thorough research done for the exhibition catalog: “Pati Hill: Photocopier”
In 1919, British born Molyneux established himself in Paris. Many of his clients later became globally known fashion icons. Finding photos depicting Molyneux designed clothing isn’t easy – however I rather liked this ensemble found in a d’Ora studio shot [the model, unknown] from 1934.
One of the most idyllic scenes as far as subject appeal for me is that of a woman, alone – or seemingly alone – on a beach. A girl or woman needing no one or nothing more than sea and sand.
In this I sketched from a photo taken by Chris Colls. [If the notations left on it are illegible, I also credit Gigi Hadid, Michael Kors – for the swimsuit, and Elle magazine.] The retro nod in her swimsuit being an aesthetic bonus.
Gigi by Chris Colls 2019
Maybe watching “Madame Bovary”  again – in all of its endless lacing of and tightening in corsets – convinced me to post this little sketch.
Mario Sorrenti is the photographer extraordinaire behind it all here. Hailey B-B [Baldwin Bieber] cinched in a Dior corset/gown from its Spring 2019 collection for Harper’s Bazaar March issue.
Hailey in Dior 2109
Maybe it’s just me. Yet, while flipping through the Spring/Summer 2019 collections I felt a bombardment of exaggeration.
However, Thank you, Maria Grazia Chiuri! Chiuri is the creative director at Dior. As stated on the Dior website, the present campaign came about to embrace “the body in movement”. Nuanced. And gauzy without obscuring.
The original editorial in W’s #2 2019 issue had model Rianne Van Rompaey with super sized lacquered hair. If my version is a slight to stylist Grace Coddington’s vision, I beg forgiveness. Craig McDean’s photos are beguiling – and I was hooked. (The clothing, primarily Valentino.)
To stay nearly true to the lighting I wound up using some of my student grade colored pencils, with a light wash and a dash of semi-soft pastels for the background.
Rianne Van Rompaey in Valentino
Last year while shopping used books, I happened upon one entitled: “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”.
To be more exact, this book is the catalog from the Metropolitan’s 2012 exhibition. Whenever buying a museum catalog, there are rarely previews of its contents. Priced at “a steal” level, I was stunned when it arrived; both the quality and quantity of images within are curated with imaginative consideration.
This sketch was done from a photo by Regina Relang in 1938. I do love “Persian Lamb” – as seen in this Elsa Schiaparelli jacket in its collar, cuffs, and gloves. [To be really forthcoming, I didn’t know what that curly black fabric was called until I researched it, mid-sketch!]
Schiaparelli Ensemble 1938
Needing a break from my pen and ink studies, I looked to the Spring 2019 fashion pages. Vogue’s March issue has a profile piece on the [often] nomadic minded Rick Owens. As I just happened to have parchment paper within reach, I began sketching Shanelle Nyaiase [as photographed by Zoe Ghertner] and was intrigued with just how graphite appears in the process.
While colored pencils, understandably, might have been a bad turn… Yet I can never resist when an orange hue is involved!
Shanelle Wearing Rick Owens
In the mid-Sixties, twenty year old German countess Vera Gottliebe Anna Gräfin von Lehndorff-Steinort was transformed into the now legendary model known as Veruschka. Photographer Richard Avedon, who I recall as that era’s Annie Leibovitz [as in “you know you’ve arrived if you’re posing for…”] produced many of his fashion iconic images with Veruschka. The stunning photo below was taken during Avedon’s tenure at Vogue.
Richard Avedon photo of Veruschka, 1967
My own take on that photo became a kind of neon negative, done in gouache and watercolor:
For the sartorial minded September is the month that releases brick-heavy issues from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. Furthermore, these September magazines are usually abundant with pages and pages for my own inspiration. But what is going on for 2018?! All I could see was a deluge of extremes. Puffy coats on steroids. Gym wear, ala haute couture. And, really?! A revival bringing the worst of the Eighties.
Yet, Marie Claire’s September offered some redemption. And it came by way of an editorial [no kidding!] titled “State of Grace”. Photographer Robert Nethery uses an exquisite flood of light in his work, so that model Tasha Tilberg appears beautifully near-translucent.
There is so much more behind my being mesmerized by Natasha Ramsay-Levi’s face that transcends the surface. Found in W Magazine’s Volume 4 2018 issue, I then went online to find out more about the photographer Paolo Roversi. Within the bio I’d located, I learned that Roversi’s first assignment for the AP was to cover Ezra Pound’s funeral – which alone is an auspicious start for a photographer’s journey. And in her position as creative director for Chloé, Ramsay-Levi has brought some extraordinary and admirable views and visions…
Photo by Paolo Roversi
My colored pencil depiction from the above:
The actual title I give this painting is “A Girl Can Dream” – as Marisa Berenson has mesmerized me since my own childhood/girl years. A case of Marisa envy, if you will. And the photo behind the painting is another I’ve held onto for I-don’t-know-how-long! The original was shot by Irving Penn. [Interesting side note: My father had been a commercial photographer and disliked the work of Penn. However, he never elaborated on this.] And with as much credit compliance I can provide, I can only assume that this Penn assignment first appeared in Vogue. That is my guess and can also only speculate on the year it was taken.
Marisa Berenson by Irving Penn
Plainly, a lot of artistic license factored in this. In addition to modifying her Adele Simpson outfit, I riffed a bit from Milton Glaser in transforming her hair. [See iconic image of Bob Dylan which Glaser illustrated for his greatest hits release, 1966.]
A Girl Can Dream
In posting this painting, I fear becoming known as “That Tim Walker-crazed painter”. Not only that, but Tim Walker – or his agent, anyway – may not be all that keen in my depictions of his inspired settings and/or concepts behind his photo shoots. Be what may: I joined two of his photos together here. While his bride appeared in a 2016 issue of “British Vogue”, the model in black originated in a 2009 issue of “Italia Vogue”. And I could not resist the contrast!
To Have and To Hold