In the world of contemporary art, fashion illustrations don't command much respect. But the under-the-radar Fashion Illustration Gallery (FIG), a London space opened opened last spring by art adviser William Ling in Notting Hill, may help change matters. The gallery exhibits vintage and contemporary works by illustrators such as the late Rene' Gruau, who famously translated Christian Dior's New Look works on paper, and Jean-Philippe Delhomme, who's worked on ad campaigns for Barneys New York. "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," says Ling. (It's also worth mentioning that one of the illustrators who shows at FIG is Tanya Ling—William's wife—who has worked for clients including Louis Vuitton, Jil Sander, Givenchy and Harper's Bazaar.) FIG's newest show (up until December 29) features a selection of works by the Swiss illustrator Francois Berthoud, who has worked for Marni, Jil Sander and Helmut Lang.
Two images from the Berthoud show, from left: ULe Vernis Mirobolant (Amica Italia), 1999 Oil on paper (lino cut print); Lacroix / Pucci, 2004, Oil based ink on paper