In fashion drawing, as in life, a woman is subject to more vicissitudes than differences of income and social position, for her age cannot always remain the same. But, in all these things, after a certain point has been reached differences are imperceptible or else treated as if they did not exist. Men may have seven ages, but in the world of fashion a woman has, at the very most, six. She is first a child, then a little girl, then a schoolgirl, then a debutante, after that a married woman, and (whatever may happen to the heart, to the lungs and to the brain) after that if not the deluge at any rate a splendidly plastered facade to withstand it. Fashion drawings depict all these phases, being particularly concerned with the penultimate two. Only occasionally is the sixth age hinted at, as in the drawing by Porter Woodruff (pi. 32) of a splendid aging beauty, almost faithfully rendered. To acknowledge, as this artist occasionally does, that in a fashion drawing a woman can look forty surely admits that she probably is, in real life, as much as fifty. But this is a rare achievement, possibly because of its difficulty, and in the ordinary way fashion artists, and those who arrange what they shall draw, assume that marriage and a general state of sophistication arrest a woman's development ; and they refer, in consequence, only now and again to the older woman who, though white-haired and possibly a grandmother, retains a slender figure and a love of good clothes.

Children are usually drawn by specialists, as their ideal interpretation seems as much the fruit of a particular condition of mind as of a special technique. The six small children drawn for Daniel Neal (pi. 28) could not be improved upon. Not only does a charming idea connect the four figures, but they are in themselves pretty as well as natural, without being too much idealised. For children of this age the standard of beauty seems not to change, and the tot of two in a pre-war drawing would not be out of place in a magazine to-day, except of course for his clothes. Health and vigour and high spirits form the desired condition for a child, whether it be in an advertisement or in a magazine, and of whatever class. Anyone who has any talent and liking for drawing children should certainly specialise, as there is always a demand for this kind of work owing to the scarcity of people who can do it really well. In addition to several weekly and monthly magazines of the twopenny, threepenny, sixpenny class, entirely devoted to children's fashions, there are catalogues for children's shops, and, not infrequently, articles to be illustrated for magazines of more general interest on children's fashions.

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At this age, two to four years or so, it is not necessary to make any great distinction between little girls and little boys, except to make the legs and arms of the latter more sturdy and straight and to curb somewhat the luxuriance of their hair. Their faces it is hardly possible or desirable to distinguish ; and, in either case, eyes must be very wide apart, eyebrows almost non-existent, cheeks rosy, and mouths either widely smiling or pursed like buds.

From the age of four to seven, the difference in sex definitely becomes apparent, sturdy babies developing either into aggressively jaunty boys or into dainty little girls. At the age of four it becomes possible to put a little boy into shorts and a flannel shirt, and fluffy curls become automatically incongruous ; and so it is at this age that his mother has his hair cut, if not short, at least in a fanciful imitation of a man's. Even at this age, however, boys' fashions are usually still the province of the artist who does children's and girls' fashions, and it is only at the age of ten or so, when he can go to a preparatory school, that boys' fashions are drawn by a men's fashion artist.

Little girls at the age of four to eight are usually dressed in garments of finger-tip length and socks or stockings that leave off somewhere below the knee. Legs are thinner now, but still very straight, slender ankles and arched insteps being reserved for the next stage of growth.

The exquisite drawing by Marty (pi. 29) shows a little girl and boy at this stage and a little girl only just out of it, while their schoolgirl sister is telling them a story. For me Marty is head and shoulders above all other artists in the delineation of children and young girls, but it is probable that for English tastes his children are a little self-possessed. If the drawings done for Daniel Neal, both of children and of the schoolgirl (pi. 28) represent the ideal treatment of child fashions for advertisement purposes, Marty may be taken as the standard of excellence for any kind of shilling magazine, which shows that the universal ideal for babies does tend to give way to a certain variation in type when they start growing up. At the same time the work of Marty, which appears from time to time in Femina, must always be a source of inspiration to any other artist in this line, since he shows infinite tact and resource in the arrangement of his figures, and in the backgrounds he devises for them. In this drawing the children are charmingly grouped, in a way which yet shows every detail of their clothes, while the landscape in which they are set is treated with just the touch of childlike fancy which would make it an entirely uncongenial resting-place for the sophisticated mothers of these same children. It is always worth while, when doing a group of children, to take trouble to devise some unifying theme or an object of common interest to them all, something to account for the unnatural phenomenon of a number of active young animals pausing for even a moment in their play, while an artist sketches them. This has been done most successfully in the Marty drawing and in the group of four for Daniel Neal.

Even the schoolgirl, as represented by the oldest girl in Marty's group and the single Daniel Neal figure, is pleasanter when she is not too obviously posing. Though physically between a child and a woman, let her rather take pose and occupation from the former, than in futile imitation of the elegancies of the latter. The passage between little girl and schoolgirl is marked by the promotion of the sock into the stocking. No more seen is the bare knee, for the assumption of adult underclothing has provided the clips essential to the safety of long stockings. The corner has been reached and her natural aspirations will turn all too soon the scale between childhood and womanhood in favour of the latter ; that fearful travesty of everything, the " miss " of sixteen or seventeen, follows oversoon, and presses relentlessly onward till the happy day when the gym.-tunic can be sloughed for the presentation gown. In your drawings, as long as you can, reproduce the charms of youth, innocence, and freshness (as they have been in these two examples), even when you are drawing a dress that will probably be worn in real life by a girl with tobacco-stained fingers who sticks her lips. The girl who receives her first dress allowance notoriously spends the first instalment on sequins and black satin and heels 6 inches high. Fortunately there is no occasion at least in Europe, for American advertisements pander to this to reproduce this natural but unattractive phenomenon in any fashion drawing, for it is assumed that the debutante will gratify in the privacy of her home any leanings she may have to dress like a gangster's " Moll."

Besides Marty, Pierre Brissaud, who is unfortunately not represented in this book but who draws for Vogue sometimes, can give exquisite renderings of the most charming kind of debutante, fresh, impulsive and gay. Pages represents her at her most typical, tremendously alive and long-limbed, pleasantly unaware, one feels, that there can be any charm in langour and repose. The two illustrations by him in this book (pi. 24 and pi. 30) are more than usually restrained, for his girls " women " too much implies age are normally a prey to daemonic energy, their spiritual home being the tennis court or the golf-course or, at a pinch, the dance floor. They are essentially Nordics (American or English rather than Swedish or German), and are admirable types for the beginner to study who feels that his talent does not lie in sophistication alone. Not that Pages' girls are necessarily raw, for they almost invariably suggest that, before spending their usual energetic day, they have emerged from a substantial well-run home that contains a family portrait or two.

The girl of twenty-one or so has another admirable interpreter in an artist known as Mabs, whose work is not represented in this book, for she is too well known to need it, having a weekly publication bearing her own name. Her girls, though well set up and fond of tennis, lack the essential vitality of those by Pages. Instead they have an added softness and charm and can give the impression, without the least suggestion of homeliness, that they would make excellent

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wives or capable secretaries and that they could certainly sew a fine seam. There is an inherent English charm about these girls, and they are the subject of far and away the best fashion drawings to be found anywhere outside the pages of Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and Femina.

Fashion Drawing Sections

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