18 September 2010

Weekend Reading List

I can't say that looking at the recent New York fashions hasn't had its effect: I've decided to take out my books by the great fashion illustrator Antonio to have a look. Antonio Lopez (1943 – 1987), possibly the definitive fashion illustrator, whose drawings appeared frequently in all the top glossies, ads and whose works were exhibited in galleries all over the world, died tragically of AIDS, aged 44. P, my friend in ACS, introduced him to me when I was in my teens, and I really learnt water colour from copying his drawings. I still have scads of these sketches somewhere. In fact, P gave me Antonio's Girls. Yes, it's that old, and so is the friendship.Later I bought Antonio's People. I tend to think it could have been from Asia Books in Bangkok, but I can't be sure anymore - possibly in 2005 or thereabouts. One did run out of things to buy in Bangkok.
Most precious of all is the beautiful book Antonio's Tales from The Thousand And One Nights that comes slip-covered in blue a royal blue fabric and gold-stamped with stars. I count it as one of my favourite possessions, and if I had to rescue one book from the proverbial burning building, this one might just be it."In the world of illustration, his contribution is superior to the efforts of all other fashion artists of his era."Karl Lagerfeld
Read an interesting essay on Antonio's work at this link: http://latino.si.edu/virtualgallery/antonio/bodyessay.htm


  1. I loved Antonio's drawings and whenever they appeared in magazines, I always tore them out. I still have them from over 30 years ago! Definitely one of the great fashion illustrators of our time

  2. Dear David Toms: We have blue and white china and antonio in common! Yes, I too tore out all his drawings from magazines i could no longer keep and there was such a lot. Remember those Missoni ads? Antonio was prolific wasn't he. I am still waiting for more of his books to come out because there is so much more isn't there?

  3. pls pardon my vast ignorance when it comes to anything related to women's wear & girls' fashion: but do i see hints of aubrey beardsley in the last pic, or am i imagining things?

  4. Dear Anon: How ignorant etc can you be when you can cite aubrey beardsley? I think you are responding to the orientalism of inherent in the subject and also that perversity. And then again, I think any illustrator owes a big debt to beardsley! In antonio's case, he has cited a long list of 'influences' including goya. I don't remember him specifically citing Beardsley but that's neither here nor there.