Pierre Simon was a French fashion illustrator. Born in 1907 he started his career in the 1920s and was particularly active during the 1940s and 1950s. Predominately illustrating for advertisements, he worked with Christian Dior, Nina Ricci, Boucheron Jewelry and Orlane Cosmetics. His work also appeared in the French edition of Vogue magazine.
Simon’s early work exhibits stylised elongated faces and hands, although his figures were relatively short. His women looked hard-nosed, similar to popular 1930s femme fatales of the time. As his style developed the reverse became true. He started drawing faces that were more realistically proportioned, while he stretched out the body. Long necks and legs made his women look more delicate and elegant.
Simon’s evolving style is a sign of the influence that artist trends had on him. His loaded ink brush technique is very reminiscent of René Gruau’s work. This is particularly noticeable looking at Simon’s 1950s illustrations. His later work more resembled traditional advertising illustration of the time, then it did fashion illustrations. Throughout his career he continuing to refine his own style. Perfecting the use of limited lines and colour, in just a few brush strokes he could create confident and engaging men and women that would effortlessly capture the viewers gaze.
It is difficult to find a lot of Pierre Simon’s illustrations online, but a great place to start is HPrints.