There are several books written on the subject of fashion illustration with many unfortunately proving to be little more than filler or catalogues of aspiring artists, but there are two in particular that stand out for me as recommended titles. The first being David Downton’s Masters of Fashion Illustration and the second, Cally Blackman’s 100 Years of Fashion Illustration. A study of the almost unfaltering relationship between fashion designers and artists over the past century, showing some outstanding examples of work from illustrators such as J.C. Leyendecker, Helen Dryden, Erté, René Gruau, Andy Warhol, Ty Wilson, Jason Brooks and of course David Downton.
It’s a collection that even though might be missing some notable examples (i’m surprised Bob Peak wasn’t included) does tell of the changing trends in advertising and technology, and through its 400 images, many sourced from the pages of magazines such as Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, describe each period of men’s and women’s fashions from Art Deco to Modernism to 60s psychedelia to today’s arguably more sterile, computer generated work. The book’s 140 featured artists offers a superb introduction to a wide range of illustrators and styles making it one the best reference titles available.