Thursday, March 22, 2012
B-way'z Book review: Drawing Fashion: The Art of Kenneth Paul Block
The Art of Kenneth Paul Block is a long awaited book of astonishingly vibrant fashion and portrait drawings of swan necked beauties by a much admired fashion-insider.
Mr. Block studied at The Parsons school of Design and illustrated the work of the most influential fashion designers from about the mid 20th century to the nineties before unoriginal, mediocre photography (and unskilled illustrations) completely dominated how fashion was communicated to the celebrity obsessed, style challenged, uninformed masses.
With seemingly effortless ease (the energy in the art looks like it could have been sketched yesterday!), Mr. Block drew the ever changing mood of fashion from London Mod to Italian Modern, Preppy Classic to Japanese Experimental, French couture to American casual and inspired many generations of fashion enthusiasts in the process.
Mr. Block's portraits showcase a few of his favorite ladies. A rare and exquisite breed who set the standard for elegance and chic for most of the 20th century. Society beauties like Mrs. Guinness, Mrs. Paley, Mrs. Guest, Mrs. Vanderbilt and Mrs. Kennedy speak of a time when grace, poise and mystery mixed with a certain sense of knowing defined a chic, stylish lady. These ladies took pride in their dress and manners, forever refining their personal presentation while facing life's challenges at full gallop...no wonder they are legendary....and his drawings of them continue to delight.
Included in the book are also several personal, previously unpublished drawings of legendary eccentrics as well as published drawings of lush interiors and glamorous accessories...further highlighting Mr. Block's wonderful wit,extraordinary sense of observation and imagination.
It is also important to mention the role Mr. Fairchild (the publisher of WWD and W) played in showcasing Mr. Block's drawings of the best in high fashion and high society.
Not a hard decision to make when you fall under the spell of Mr. Block's mastery in handling paint, pencil and the utilitarian,lowly magic marker in deliciously expressive gestures.
What Mr. Block did with a marker,is Magic indeed.
An essential book celebrating the work of an American Artist with a rare and elegant eye.
For a preview of the book, click here!