Drawing in Paris

My interest in figurative art and design attracted me to Paris in 1991 where I saw first hand the collections of European designers Valentino, Dior, la Croix, Guy Laroche, Oscar de la Renta and many more.

 

Standing beside the catwalks, I was compelled to draw the stunning new season releases. 

Before the delights of Paris, I began my career in 1985 at the Court Theatre wardrobe department in Christchurch, New Zealand. Two years later, winning one of the New Zealand Wool Board awards during my final year of a diploma in Clothing and Textile Design, Wellington Polytechnic opened the door and entry to the Spring/Summer Paris fashion shows of 1991.

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 figurative 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 from my diploma years 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. 

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