Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fa-fa-fa-fa Fashion!

You know that preconceived notion of artists being all funky, dressing in black, wearing crazy hair and jewelry, and generally having a very avant-garde sense of style?

I'm about to dispel that myth.  :D

Okay, there may have been a small stretch in late high school/college when I put some effort into what I wore but otherwise, it just hasn't been a priority for me.  My Fondy friends can attest for me that most days, unless I have a show or exhibit to attend, I'm wearing a plain t-shirt and jeans.  Around here, you can get away with this look just about everywhere, which is so nice.  No one expects you to dress up at any time, except "life events" like weddings.  The only reason I have any nice clothes at all is because my friend Tracy owns a clothing boutique called Lillians.  It's where I get all of my "I'm leaving the house" clothes.  :D

The weird thing is, I've always been really good at dating styles!  Even as a kid I could tell you the year of an illustration or photo just by the clothes and/or hairstyle.  I know the definitions of a "cloche", a "pencil skirt", a "chemise", and "worsted weight".  I just never made the connection between fashion and me.  Also, I would MUCH rather spend my money on art supplies, ephemera, or things around the house than for dressing this bod.  :D

That's not to say that I don't appreciate fabulous fashion when I see it, especially in books like this!  This is one of those "Art Instruction Schools" booklets that you could order for correspondence courses in art.  This particular book is from 1968 and still includes the order form for extra supplies!  It was one of the fabulous finds from the "rummage sale" we attended a couple weeks back.

I love the "sketchy" looks in the book and that scribbly-watercolor look that was so popular then.  I love the technique drawings that teach proportion.  And the color illustrations of jaunty "men about town" are the BEST.  :D

By the way, I was the first person to crack open this book - what a coup for me!  :D

I haven't done much with fashion in my collages, but what I have done is, of course, vintage.  :D


  1. Andy Warhol used to be a shoe illustrator. I love this article, Mel! And wasn't the character that Grace Kelly played in Rear Window an artist (Pete says she was a model, but I disagree and I didn't feel like researching it this morning!). Anyway. Fashion is a form of art in my opinion. And, thanks to my good friend, Kim, fashion magazines got me through my illness this year. YAY! to you!

    1. Thanks Annie! I'm glad you like it! I'm afraid Pete's right though - Grace Kelly played a model and wealthy socialite in "Rear Window" (Jimmy Stewart was the photographer). :D

      You're right about fashion being art, though - if anyone doubts that all they have to do is watch "Project Runway" and see the designers go through their process! :D

  2. I love art using vintage fashion. It is one of my favorite themes. I adore your examples Mel!! Some fashion is itself truly art. Great article.

    1. Thank you so much, fantasia! Fashion IS art. Too bad I don't apply it to my life - I'm pretty fashion-dense. :D