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Society of Illustrators celebrated its newest exhibit, “The Line of Fashion," last Friday.

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BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD: The downtown and uptown sets came together on Friday night for a Champagne-and-canapé VIP affair to celebrate the Society of Illustrators’ newest exhibit, “The Line of Fashion,” on view at the nonprofit’s East 63rd Street gallery through May 2. Curated by artist and author Robert W. Richards, the show features commercial and editorial work by fashion illustration luminaries such as Antonio Lopez, Steven Stipelman, Joe Eula, Michael Vollbracht and Kenneth Paul Block. While the art form might have gone the way of 45-rpm records and 35-mm film — WWD and sister publication W Magazine were among its last bastions — you wouldn’t have guessed it given the excited crowd, which included Vollbracht and Stipelman, as well as Narciso Rodriguez, former model Alva Chinn, Bill Cunningham and design duo Phillipe and David Blond. “This particular moment is a good moment for fashion illustration,” curator Richards explained. “Photography is losing its credibility. Nobody knows what’s real anymore, what’s not real — is she really that tall? Does she have that much hair? Are those really her tits? It’s Photoshop, Photoshop, Photoshop. If you’re going to do fake, you might as well go really fake and have drawings.” Plus, Richards noted, there’s an economic incentive, now more than ever. “Illustrators don’t require hair and makeup, a three-room suite and a private plane [to produce an advertisement or editorial story]. We just put our stuff in a little bag and we go and do our work and come home.” — Nick Axelrod

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