Drawing in Paris

My work in fashion design called me to Paris where I saw first hand the collections of European designers Valentino, Dior, la Croix, Guy Laroche, Oscar de la Renta and more. Standing beside the catwalks, I was compelled to draw their stunning new season releases. 

Before Paris   

With a Diploma in Clothing and Textile Design from the Wellington Polytechnic (1987) I began my career in wardrobe at the Christchurch Court Theatre, New Zealand, and following this travelled to London and Europe in 1989 to embelish a passion for the arts. Winning the New Zealand Wool Board award helped me gain entry to the Paris fashion shows.

Entry to the fashion launches in the marquees by the Louvre and other locations around Paris allowed me to work directly as the models paraded the catwalk.


My life drawing experience compelled me to bring my paper closer to the action and I squeezed myself between the enormous lenses of the photographers right to the edge of the catwalk.


My lessons in pattern drafting were invaluable as I could see the details and work out the cause and effect, drawing in darts and seams; the reasons for line and flow. I captured the balance of a garment, whilst writing notes to prompt watercolour painting at the end of each invigorating day, while the vibrancy of tones and textures were still fresh in my memory.

Later a friend of Valentino Garavani commissioned a collection of these drawings as a gift to the designer and this was the catalyst that prompted me to develop and present this body of work as a series of archival quality giclee limited editions. Valentino owns number one (1/100) of five of these limited edition works. The reproductions are produced on 100% cotton paper using Epson UV pigmented inks for long life prints of 100 years image stability. 

Wall Works & The Smalls 

© Jessica Gunn www.jessicagunnstudio.co.nz