Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Morning Inspiration

Good Morning Everyone and welcome to a new week!
Last week I talked about Charles James and mentioned that he and the fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez had collaborated, resulting in many sketches. Thankfully, those drawings are now preserved in museums and so the work of James will never be forgotten. 
To only show a few pieces of Antonio Lopez's work for me is like briefly talking about Picasso and only showing a few of his early pieces. Antonio Lopez was an icon in his own right. 
I had the opportunity to meet Antonio just a few years before he died in 1987. He was energetic, entertaining, kind, generous and so very gifted. Since his death, the world of fashion has never been the same. His drawings brought the pages of W magazine to life in such a thrilling way. Designers wanted Antonio to draw their collections as he had the power to make the viewer want what he drew.
The first five pieces are pieces that Antonio did for Charles James. 

Antonio truly came into his own during the 1980's with the over sized shapes and bright colors. Not only did he have the ability to illustrate, he also had the power to infuse energy into his drawings. 

In 1983 Antonio published his first book, Antonio's Girls. This book was soon followed by Antonio's Tales From A Thousand And One Nights. A beautifully illustrated book that brings the story of Scheherazade to life in such a vivid way.

In 2004, Antonio's People was published and just last year Antonio Lopez: Fashion, Art, Sex and Disco was published. The book contains an introduction by Andre Leon Talley and an epilogue from Ana Sui. Below is a description about the book.
 The first complete monograph on Antonio Lopez, the influential Warholian fashion illustrator of the 1960s, ’70s, and ’80s. 
Best known for dazzling illustrations in Women’s Wear DailyVogue, the New York TimesInterview, and for high fashion labels, Antonio Lopez (1943–1987) was a force majeur in the fashion world for three decades. In the ‘60s, Lopez’s vibrant illustrations helped usher youth culture into the pages of magazines, setting a new, free-flowing, sexually liberated standard for fashion imagery. Living in Paris during the 70s with his creative partner Juan Ramos, Lopez launched the modeling careers of Jerry Hall, Grace Jones, and Jessica Lange among others, worked with design royalty like Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent, and cultivated a soigné nightlife persona in the blistering-hot underground clubs of Paris.  Returning to New York City in 1976, Antonio documented the sexy influence of athletic-wear, puffy, down coats, and break-dancing style, inspiring such designers as Norma Kamali and Anna Sui. 
Widely recognized during this period as the world’s most influential fashion illustrator, Antonio’s work took on a deeper, more sculptural dimension in the 80s, richly detailed, with a vivid palette, and heroic proportions and poses.  So deft and varied in his expression, Antonio Lopez simultaneously executed campaigns for labels as diverse as Norma Kamali, YSL, Valentino, Missoni, and Versace—an unprecedented feat in a highly competitive industry.
The prolific Lopez produced an incredible number of drawings, illustrations, paintings, photographs, and fantastic mixed-media journals, and this book showcases his most iconic works, as well as never-before-seen Instamatic photos, behind-the-scenes Polaroids, letters, and ephemera which, together, provide an understanding of the career trajectory of an extraordinarily talented artist, and convey Antonio Lopez’s enduring influence on fashion today.
"I’m from the generation that came to New York to meet their idols. In my case it was Andy Warhol and Antonio Lopez." —Anna Sui

Have a wonderful week!

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  1. I am in awe that you actually met the man. His work is just simply the best.

    1. After all these years I too am still in awe. He came to Chicago while on tour of his Thousand and One Nights book. I was invited to a private talk he gave to about 30 people. He was with us for about 2 hours. I didn't want it to end. He was so kind, so unassuming and so generous. It was less than two years later that he died. When I met him, I had no idea that he was sick. There will never be another Antonio.

  2. Thanks for sharing your wonderful story. I have some beautiful examples of Antonio's illustrations in early Vanity magazines (1987). Living and working in London in the mid eighties I came across Vanity when 90% of it's pages were illustration. Very unusual. I was lucky enough to buy about 6 issues before the editor changed and the photograph took over. These magazines are more precious to me than many of my books. :)

    1. What a lovely collection you have. I had a subscription to W when it was still the large paged publication. I could just kick myself for not saving them as each one was full of Antonio's drawings.

  3. Stunning! I can really see one of these framed in my sewing room.

    1. You can google Antonio Lopez, Antonio's girls and you'll come up with some fabulous pictures to choose from. Print them out on a high resolution printer and you'll have frame worthy pieces.

  4. Stunning. Wouldn't it be great to be able to just draw up such beauty....sigh.