Artist Spotlight: David Downton

I have always been inspired by the work of renowned fashion illustrator David Downton. His work is characterized by an intense economy of line and detail that results in a breakdown of both the female form and the sharp tailoring of garments. Downton’s work is a celebration of fashion in its purest form: Lines, shapes, and colors.

Downton was born in 1959 in Kent, and went on to study at Canterbury and Wolverhampton from 1977 until 1981. In 1985, he moved to Brighton, where his illustration career began. He did not begin his career with the intention of one day becoming a fashion illustrator. In fact, his first job was to illustrate the cover for a computer magazine.

His first foray into real fashion illustration came when he was asked to attend the Paris haute couture shows. That experience allowed him to witness first-hand the theatricality and grandeur of the fashion world. Since that day, Downton has been a regular presence at all the major haute couture shows. Although he normally doesn’t draw during the shows, he does frequent the backstage area, where he will occasionally do live drawings of models while they are waiting for the show to begin.

In addition to his work as an illustrator, Downton is the editor of Pourquoi Pas?, the only magazine dedicated to documenting and showcasing the best fashion illustration from all over the world. Downton is currently a visiting Professor at the London College of Fashion, and holds an honorary doctorate degree from the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. To find out more about Downton and his work, please visit his website.