1. 30

    Oct 2015

    Fashion Fridays ~ Barbara Hulanicki

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    Barbara Hulanicki OBE is an illustrator, fashion designer and co-founder of Biba. Born in 1936 in Warsaw, Poland her family moved to Brighton, England when Hulanicki was only twelve years old. From 1954, she studied fashion illustration at the Brighton School of Art (now the University of Brighton Faculty of Arts). Whilst there she won a beachwear competition sponsored by the London Evening Standard newspaper.

    Hulanicki left college in her second and began working as a fashion illustrator for publications British Vogue, Tatler, the Times, and the Observer. She also worked for Women’s Wear Daily in their London office. In 1961 she married Stephen Fitz-Simon. Two years later, the couple started Biba as a mail order company, advertising in the fashion columns of the Daily Express and the Daily Mirror. With moderate success at first, the company really made waves in 1964 with a pink gingham dress, similar to one worn by Brigitte Bardot. The morning after the advert appeared in the Daily Mirror, they had 4,000 orders and went on to sell 17,000.

    That same year, they opened their first boutique in Abingdon Road in Kensington. Biba aimed to offer celebrity looks on the high street. It prided itself on both its affordability and accessibility. The shop’s decor was inspired by Art Nouveau and Art Deco design, and had a stylishly extravagant atmosphere. It was not long before the popularity of the shop turned it into a celebrity hotspot. Artists, film stars and musicians including Mick Jagger, David Bowie, and Marianne Faithfull would all frequent. Future influential editor-in-chief of American Vogue, Anna Wintour, worked in the boutique when she was just 15. Women’s Wear Daily reported this of Biba and Hulanicki:

    “she was the name in the lives of Britain’s fashion hungry”

    Biba went on to open two more shops in Kensington, then moved into a seven-storey department store, dubbed Big Biba. Situated in the Derry & Toms building on Kensington High Street, it opened to much fanfare, attracting up to a million customers weekly, and was one of London’s most visited tourist attractions.

    Due to internal disagreements Biba closed its doors and cease operations in 1976. Hulanicki continued to design, initially working for Italian fashion house Fiorucci and French brand Cacharel. She also designed children’s wear for a Japanese market, before changing gear. She moved to Miami, Florida and started an interior-design business. Her first client was Ronnie Wood. She designed hotels for Chris Blackwell in Jamaica and the Bahamas, and wallpaper for the store, Habitat. She won an award from the American Institute of Architects for her work on the Netherlands Building.

    In 2009 Hulanicki returned to fashion designing an entire collection, reminiscent of original Biba, for British retailer Topshop. Following several failed attepts to relaunch Biba in the past by various people, in 2009 House of Fraser, with the aim of bringing it back to its high street routes, seems to have found success. Furthermore, in 2014 Hulanicki was asked to serve as a consultant which would mark her return to Biba, for the first time, after 39 Years.

    In 2012, a major fashion exhibition “Biba and Beyond: Barbara Hulanicki” opened at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery celebrating the innovative and unique work that she brought to British fashion. The very same year Hulanicki was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for her services to the fashion industry.

  2. 29

    Oct 2015

    Tyler Stout

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    If you are a fan of Mondo which, if I am not mistaken, everyone is, then you would have certainly seen the work of Tyler Stout.

    Tyler Stout, was born in Washington State, USA, in 1977. He spent two years at Clark Com­mu­nity Col­lege in Van­cou­ver, then com­pleted a New Media bach­e­lors degree at West­ern Wash­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity in Belling­ham. Staying in Belling­ham, around 2001, Stout began illustrating fly­ers and posters for bands and shows in the area, along with the Seat­tle and Port­land area. Some of the more well-known bands included Mars Volta, Death Cab for Cutie, and The Shins. He got his first professional big break when he was asked to con­tribute illus­tra­tions for a poster adver­tis­ing a Tena­cious D show at Higher Ground in Winooski, Ver­mont. In 2005, he moved back to Washington.

    Rob Jones, a poster illustrator himself, had seen Stout’s gig posters and asked him if Stout would like to contribute to The Quentin Tarantino Film Fest. The event was being hosted at the Alamo Drafthouse and marked the start of an ongoing relationship between Stout and Alamo. What formed from Alamo Drafthouse’s regular collaboration with Stout, among other artists including Olly Moss and Martin Ansin, was a spin-off company and everyone’s favourite collectible art boutique, Mondo.

    Stout’s realistic style and attention to detail solidified his popularity, and such, his demand grew. In addition to the frequent assignments from Mondo, he also continued illustrating gig posters and albums. Notably for Flight of the Con­chords, The Decem­berists, Phish, The Black Key, and Pearl Jam.

    In the past, Stout has named Mobius, Bernie Wrightson, Frank Miller, Dave Gibbons, and Mike Mignola as some of his biggest influences. He has also noted earlier inspiration from Disney cartoons Res­cue Rangers, Tail­Spin, and Duck­Tales as well as comics strips Garfield, Calvin and Hobbes, and The Far Side. You can read all about that along with other insights in his interviews with Ain’t it Cool, Vectips, TRPS and Claudio Parentela.

    For more Tyler Stout inspiration, check out his website and Instagram.

  3. 28

    Oct 2015

    João Fazenda

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    João Fazenda is an illustrator from Lisbon, Portugal and currently working and living in London, England. He studied Painting at belas-artes ulisboa (The Lisbon School of Fine-Arts). The majority of his work is made up of editorial and book illustration, however, he has worked on comics, animation, posters and CD covers. His work has been exhibited across Europe in Switzerland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and England.

    Fazenda has worked for several international clients include Sol, Time Out Lisboa, New York Times, The Guardian, The Scientist, and Nobrow, earning several awards along the way. In 2001 Amadora international Comic Festival awarded him Best Portuguese Comic Book for his comic Tu és Mulher da Minha Vida, Ela a Mulher dos Meus Sonhos (You’re the Woman of my Life, She’s the Woman of my Dreams) and he currently hold five Awards of Excellence for Illustration from the Society Of Newspapers Design (SND).

    Fazenda’s images are full of vitality. They are playful and dynamic and just feel fun. I believe that is partly due to his use of fluid and exaggerated shapes. They are clear, conveying information swiftly. The other part has to be his use of strong bold colours. They work as a great device to group objects, as well as playing off one another.

    You can find more of João Fazenda’s illustrations on his website, and Tumblr.

  4. 27

    Oct 2015

    John McLusky (1923 – 2006)

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    To coincide with the latest Bond movie release, Spectre (2015), The Illustration Cupboard is hosting a James Bond Exhibition featuring the artwork of John McLusky.

    In 1958 London paper, The Daily Express, approached Ian Fleming to publish a serial strip adaptation based on his popular James Bond books. Fleming was initially reluctant, worrying that it may devalue his creation. The then editor of the Express, Edward Pickering, persuaded Fleming that the comic strips would be a “Rolls Royce” of a series.

    Anthony Hearne, staff writer for the Express, was brought onboard to adapted the novels and John McLusky was asked to supply a sample strip. McLusky chose to illustrate a scene from “From Russia With Love” and earned Fleming’s approval. Consequently McLusky had the enduring honour of giving people the first visual portrayal of James Bond. After just a few stories, Fleming agreed that the fast-paced style of the daily strip suited Bond’s adventures perfectly. The three cells strips were an instant success and boosted sales of The Daily Express.

    Hearne and McLusky adapted eighteen James Bond novels and short stories, a total of 2,250 comic strips. McLusky ended his run in 1966, passing on the duties were to Henry Gammidge and later, Yaroslav Horak. McLusky moved on to other properties, notably comic strip adaptations of Laurel & Hardy, and the Pink Panther. He also drew a Johnny Nero adventure for No. 13 issue of Fleetway’s Secret Agent Series. McLusky returned to the Bond franchise in 1982. He collaborated with writer Jim Lawrence to illustrate four original James Bond stories. He continued to work, illustrating, teaching and even puppeteering.

    The Original James Bond – John McLusky’s art from the ’50s & 60s will be starting tomorrow, 28 October 2015, until the 14 November 2015. You can find all the details on the Illustration Cupboard website.

  5. 26

    Oct 2015

    Manga Mondays ~ Miho Hirano

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    Today’s Manga Monday feature is Japanese artist Miho Hirano. A graduate from Tokyo Art School Musashino Art University. Living in Abiko, Chiba her mesmerising work has toured the walls of galleries across Japan. Recently, it seems she is contributing to group show every month, notably the highly praised Ephemeral ~ Territory of Girls exhibition at Jiro Miura Gallery.

    Hirano’s oil paintings seem to me to be evoking the Pre-Raphaelites spirit. Whether intention or not, her images share much of the same ethos. The atmosphere plays a larger role than narrative, the female beauties express a euphoric states of consciousness, and of course, the attention to detail of the natural world.

    With that said, Hirano’s paintings do have a stronger sense of surrealism. Her characters, and the nature that surrounds them, seem to merge into one. Hair, branches, flowers, and fish all float as if they are weightless. The use of heavily desaturated colours result in the image appearing as if you are looking at it through fog, or it is a hazed memory, or dream. All of these elements in the hands of Hirano beget undeniably dramatic work.

    You can find more of Miho Hirano’s work on her website, as well as her Facebook page.

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