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Fashion illustration

  • Place of origin:

    China (possibly, made)
    Britain (possibly, made)

  • Date:

    2005 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Downton, David (fashion illustrator)
    Vogue (commissioned by)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Watercolour, paint, pencil, and coloured pencil on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by David Downton

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case FD, shelf 19

David Downton graduated from the University of Wolverhampton and began his career as a general illustrator in Brighton in 1984. Whilst he occasionally did fashion illustrations, it was not until 1996 when he was sent to the couture shows by the Financial Times that he became known as a fashion illustrator. Since then his reports have been seen around the world and his commercial clients include such names as Chanel, Dior, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Harrods and L’Oréal. In 2007 he launched Pourquoi Pas?, the first journal to be dedicated to fashion illustration. His work is distinguished by its deliberate omissions, where he draws a subject and then begins to remove details and elements until only the barest minimum remains. Although such deconstruction looks spontaneous, it takes dozens of drawings on layout paper to achieve a successful result.

Physical description

Illustration of Lily Cole in a dress with a silver embellished bodice and green skirt with a red bow tied at the waist. She is also wearing a black fascinator and drop earrings.

Place of Origin

China (possibly, made)
Britain (possibly, made)


2005 (made)


Downton, David (fashion illustrator)
Vogue (commissioned by)

Materials and Techniques

Watercolour, paint, pencil, and coloured pencil on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Inscription Bobby Hilson


Height: 51 cm, Width: 42 cm

Descriptive line

Drawing by David Downton, fashion illustration of model Lily Cole backstage at Christian Lacroix, 2005, commissioned by Vogue China, watercolour, paint, pencil and coloured pencil, 2005


Paper; Watercolour; Paint; Pencil; Coloured pencil



Subjects depicted

Portrait; Fashion illustration; Fascinator; Dress


Drawings; Illustration; Fashion; Clothing


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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