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Color Forms

The art of fashion illustration hasn't always been given its due, but William Ling, a London gallerist and art adviser, has set out to change all that

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A sketch by David Downton

A sketch by David Downton.

Photo By WWD Archive

Appeared In
Special Issue
WWD Scoop issue 03/24/2008
The art of fashion illustration hasn’t always been given its due, but William Ling, a London gallerist and art adviser, has set out to change all that by opening Fashion Illustration Gallery (FIG). The small storefront in London’s Notting Hill is dedicated to vintage and contemporary works by illustrators including the late René Gruau, who famously translated Christian Dior’s works on paper; Jean-Philippe Delhomme, who’s worked on campaigns for Barneys New York and Saab, and Tanya Ling (William’s wife), who has worked for clients including Louis Vuitton, Jil Sander, Givenchy and Harper’s Bazaar.

“I think these are very special artists who in the past have been categorized out of exhibition opportunities. They’ve never really had a home to show their work, and we just wanted to put that right,” says Ling.

Prices are more gentle than the rest of the overheated art market, ranging from about $1,000 for a David Downton drawing on paper to $30,000 for a Gruau image.

FIG’s current show features a selection of color drawings by the Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry, originally created for the now-defunct Spoon magazine. The images are from the 2005 Paris couture shows and are juxtaposed with gritty scenes of London, including bleak landscapes and police crime scene alerts. Starting in April, the space will showcase signed and numbered limited edition prints made from original works by artists who have shown in the gallery.


Fashion Illustration Gallery
97 Goldborne Road
London W10 5NL
+44.208.543.6731