Although the magazines in this group employ the best talent, they give a good deal of work to artists who are not in some cases any better than, nor in others very different from, the artists engaged in working for papers in the other groups. No magazines in the world are produced, I am convinced, with more

care or artistry than these ; and infinite pains are taken, not so much to secure, as to develop such young talent as presents itself. This intelligence and careful nursing of raw aptitude is of inestimable advantage to its possessor, who not only begins to earn something while he is still a beginner, but who receives into the bargain more expert tuition than it is possible to buy in any school of fashion drawing. It is amusing to trace, in the back numbers of a paper like Vogue, the advance shown in the art of a young man who began with work that seemed at first to be indistinguishable from that of a dozen others and who has, almost imperceptibly, blossomed into one of the masters of his craft, the pattern and ideal of those who, in their turn, are just beginning.

With this, or with any kind of journal, it is being too modest to suppose that an editor who employs so much illustrious talent can have no need for, no interest in, the work of a beginner. His big stars are kept busy drawing French clothes in Paris, but he is obliged to make use, for tasks which are less distinguished, of a number of young artists who have as yet no distinction at all. They also serve who only draw in the London shops.

At first, and for a long time, the artist who obtains employment with this kind of magazine will be confined to drawing in the shops. The fashion editress, or her representative, visits in turn every dress shop that advertises with the magazine. The more they advertise the more she visits them. Advertisements for petrol, whisky, cigarettes, hotels or anything of that kind meet with a rather different response, or with none at all. But the firm that advertises anything that could be counted as fashions expects to receive, and does receive, a very definite bonus in the form of free publicity in the body of the magazine. In certain magazines, with which we are not at the moment concerned, one may observe that the copy and illustrations for such free editorials are occasionally supplied by the shops themselves, with the most incongruous results.

A good magazine rarely permits this. The fashion editress arranges with the buyer what is to be sketched. If she does not always set out having, at the back of her mind, a definite lay-out suggested by the art editor and the space at her disposal, she has at least some plan as to the unifying idea that shall animate the page that is to be filled. Perhaps she has already decided that at the head of the page shall be written some such slogan as " An Economical Ascot," " A Velvet Winter," " Rough Weather Clothes," or " Dresses that Lead Double Lives." Everything she chooses for the page she is planning will be definitely appropriate to, and illustrated by, the thesis she has decided on. Thus it is rare, even in papers in category II., to see illustrated on the same page evening gowns at four guineas and tweed coats at ten.

The finished page is a synthesis of the work of the advertisement manager who has suggested the shops that are about due to be visited, of the art editor who is responsible for the lay-out and type, and of the fashion editress who has

Fashion Design Drawing - Drawing For Press 1.jpg

chosen the clothes ; so skilfully blended that it is almost impossible to separate the responsibility of each, and so carefully planned that it is hardly in the power of the artist to fail, except by inaccuracy.

For accuracy must not be discarded, like a friend of humbler days, simply because you suppose it to be incompatible with the air of elegance and luxury that surround the magazine for which you are now working. Because the clothes and jewels you are sketching do not appear in an actual advertisement it is none the less important that they should be sold ; the credit of the magazine and the success of the shop depend on this.

Your finished drawing will have to be done with reference to the art editor's ideas. He decides how the figures or objects had best be grouped, though he is probably quite prepared to hear any suggestion you may care to make ; it is he who decides whether they shall be done in wash, in outline, or in conte pencil, his choice being as much dictated by the nature of the thing to be illustrated as by what he knows of your capabilities. Probably, during your first few pages for him, he and the editress may want you to bring your work in when it is half completed, so that they can see how it is getting on.

(II.) As might be expected in publications of a more general interest the fashion drawing is less highly specialised and is calculated to appeal to a public which does not buy the magazine primarily, if at all, for the fashion pages. Thus, if it is to a large extent women who read Vogue and Harper's Bazaar, possibly even more men than women will buy a paper like the Sphere or Country Life, and they are unlikely to care very deeply whether or not they contain a page of fashions. But even so, a tremendous number of women peruse magazines of this kind, but they seek, on its fashion pages, to learn what kind of clothes they can buy at accessible shops rather than for information as to what Paris is wearing. This kind of thing being illustrated, if at all, by very good photographs from Scaioni.

Contact with the shops takes roughly the same form as with the more specialised journals, though the attention of the art editor is never to the same extent directed to the lay-out of the pages. In some cases, indeed, it seems as if he were quite unaware of their existence. This tends to produce monotony of lay-out, and the responsibility of introducing variety is in the hands of the artist who is to some extent limited by the nature of the objects chosen for him to sketch. Even more is he cramped by the fact that in many papers of this kind his drawings are considered subsidiary to (though illustrative of) an article of some length, which is invariably set out in two columns. As a result of this his drawings are reduced, practically irrespective of size and shape, to a dimension that will make it possible to line them up with the columns in print. I do not want to exaggerate, but for every ten people who look at the drawings on such a

page, I should think that three read the article ; and it would be better, perhaps, if the double-column rigidity in which it is inevitably set should give way occasionally to an ingenious and enterprising lay-out, devised by someone who is no respecter of the printed word.

Fashion Drawing Sections

Part-1 Part-2 Part-3 Part-4 Part-5