Monday, April 9, 2018

Monday Morning Inspiration/Fashion Illustration-Drawn To Glamour

Good Morning from a snowy Chicago. Yes, snowy, but there is hope in the air as the weather is predicted to change and spring temperatures should warm our bones by the end of the week. I am always so fascinated with how people dress this time of year. Back in October when the temperatures initially began to fall, people were bundled as though it was the frozen tundra. Now that we have survived winter, those who were so bundled at 40 and 50 degrees will be wearing shorts and celebrating the onset of spring. Just goes to show, it's all relative ;)

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be in Denver and see the opening of the new exhibit at the Denver Art Museum, Drawn To Glamour. What a treat that was!!! 

The exhibit presents the work of award-winning fashion illustrator Jim Howard. His life began in a small, dusty town in west Texas. He began drawing at the age of 8, and ultimately graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in Fine Arts. A mother who sewed was his original inspiration. His career began in Austin, Texas at a department store called Goodfriends. There he dressed windows and from time time was allowed to illustrate promotional material. He was discovered by Neiman Marcus, spent a number of years in Dallas before he went on to New York. Be sure to take a few minutes and watch the video below. I think you will be drawn into Mr. Howard's unassuming personality, and the love he has for fashion.

While visiting the exhibit, I took pictures of every piece in the exhibit. His work is not only beautiful, but a fabulous lesson in drawing. 



He loved to draw fashion in such a manner so that the consumer could see themselves in their everyday lives. 

I especially enjoyed the pieces that he did in color. 


There are examples of how to draw everything,




Ruffles and shirring

Bows and gathered tiers


I also enjoyed the pieces he did of Pauline Trigere, Isabella Rossellini, and  Rosita Missoni.

Like the big department stores, fashion illustration is sadly going the way of the dinosaur. But, Mr. Howard has found a new niche and that is with paper dolls. The paper doll books are delightful for children of any age ;)

His paper doll books can be found HERE. Or if you visit the Denver Art Museum, they can be purchased there as well.

Sometimes I feel a little like a dinosaur, especially when people find out that I sew and look at me with a question that is written all over there face, "WHY?!!!" All I can say is that I love to create, and I especially love to wear what I create. It's not about saving money, it's about loving an art form.

Have a wonderful week! Be sure to try and sew a little something, and take a few moments to enjoy the process of making a little art:)

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  1. Thanks for sharing Rhonda. I wish I could draw like this

  2. Such a gifted man! I envy anyone who can draw well.
    I get similar reactions when people find out I sew (usually swiftly followed by a 'Could you....for me?' to which the answer is now a firm NO!) but even more when I confess to being a knitter. Things seem to be catching up with us though and many people are now interested in learning from us dinosaurs ;)

  3. Thank you so much for sharing these images and for the great video. What an amazingly talented man. His drawings have such a sense of vitality and are just gorgeous.Have a great week! Xx

    1. My favorite fashion illustrator was Antonio Lopez. While his drawings were magnificent, I really couldn’t see myself in what he portrayed. What I love about Mr. Howard is that his drawings draw me in and I see myself. Such a wonderful gift. Wishing you a fabulous week as well 😊

  4. What an interesting and charming exhibit! It's a shame that illustration, the hand-drawn kind, has become passe. Computer rendering is fine, sometimes more realistic (or at least more photo-like), but it just doesn't have the soul of a hand-drawn illustration.

    Paper dolls! Boy does that take me back. When I was a little girl one of the things I looked forward to when we visited my grandparents was playing with the paper dolls from Grandma's McCall's magazines. She had pasted the doll shapes onto tagboard, and we would cut out the clothes to dress the dolls. By the time we were too old for them we had quite a collection.

    Boy do I feel old now.

    1. Oh, what a lovely memory!
      Paper dolls were one of my favorite things. I would cut out a shape and then draw the clothes and color them in.

  5. Thanks for introducing us to him, Rhonda. The way he draws the draping and wrinkles caused by body movement gives such life to the garments and the models. Each face is so unique, beautiful and real looking. A gifted gifted gentleman.

    It was a long time back but as a teen I recall the newspapers always having hand drawn pictures of fashions in the local better department stores. I remember reading the paper and craving those garments for my own. Artists like Howard truly inspired women to dress beautifully. Even if you couldn't afford to, you could dream because of the beauty of the artwork. I still can see the picture of my wedding gown from the Boston Globe, beautifully drawn. I wish I had that picture now. I made my gown and copied it from a drawing such as Howards. Your post has brought up lovely memories.thanks.

    1. I just love your story Bunny! Thanks so much for sharing it. I’m so happy that the post brought back such seeet memories.