The woman who is in charge of the page cannot be such an autocrat as she of the more specialised magazine, fashions being, in all probability, one of twenty more or less regular features ; though in the case of two or three magazines being owned by the same combine, there is often one woman who has control of the fashion pages of all of them, and who relegates the details to subordinates. These subordinates (women of the type of one's elder sister, perhaps) are usually helpful and friendly and can sometimes be persuaded to let you go round to the shop with them. This soon leads to the artist having some say in the selection of things to be sketched, which is an inestimable boon, because every fashion artist knows that certain clothes cry out to be drawn, while of others it is impossible to make anything. It also saves a good deal of time and trouble if you can sketch the dress the moment she has chosen it, because if a day or two elapses between her selection of the dress and your arrival at the shop, it may have been mislaid, confused with others and impossible to identify, or simply sold.

The types depicted are generally smart. When they are not so, it is because some of the advertisers in papers of long standing stock such old-fashioned goods that it is literally impossible to find and draw a garment that has any relation to the mode of the moment. However smart the figures and the fashions may sometimes be in these magazines there is a clearly perceptible and very pleasant touch of domesticity about them. Use your imagination and remember that, roughly speaking, the fashion drawings in every magazine tend to reproduce the style, the type and milieu of the younger women readers ; or, failing the existence of an appreciable number of these, the wives and daughters of the male readers. Thus it is not necessary to split hairs in order to distinguish between the women in the fashion pages of a paper like the Bystander from those in the Sphere, between the Graphic and Good Housekeeping, between Britannia and Eve and Country Life. These papers are always willing to consider the work of fresh artists and are not nearly so wedded to the style they favour at the moment as you might suppose. Indeed, with some, but not all, of these papers a little originality and novelty of presentation is more likely to secure you an order than absolute perfection in a hackneyed technique.

Before leaving this group I ought to say that three of the publications in it, Good Housekeeping, Britannia and Eve and Woman's Journal are, throughout, primarily devoted to women's interests and do make a certain regular feature of clothes from Paris ; but they come into this rather than into the first group because the bulk of the contents is not devoted to fashions and because the rigours of chic are, in them, so artfully tempered to the average English woman.

(III.) There is a considerable number of papers, both monthly and weekly, that range in price from sixpence downwards and which cater for a woman of a different class from those whose magazines we have been examining up till now. They make a point of being as practical as they are entertaining, and are intended for the woman who likes to make her own clothes, to trim her own hats, to do her own hair waving and face massage, and to cook her own meals. They appeal to the woman who likes doing these things and to the woman who is obliged to do them. The public interested is therefore large, and these papers contain, besides fiction, beauty hints and recipes, a mass of fashion drawings.

By far the greatest number of these come from the Amalgamated Press (Mabs, Fashions for All, Home Fashions, Children's Dress, etc., etc.) and from Weldon's (Weldon's Bazaar of Children's Fashions, Weldon's Illustrated Dressmaker and Weldon's Ladies' Journal). Independent of these two presses there are numerous other publications of a similar nature which come into this group. With the exception of Mabs Fashions, which is illustrated almost entirely by Mabs herself and which stands, somehow, irrespective of quality, as the doyen of such publications, there is a large scope here for the work of a beginner.

The ideal which you are required to serve is so well defined, so little affected by this or that change of standard, so independent of, and altogether above, the whims of succeeding editors, that it really is worth anyone's while to study it, and to devote considerable energy to its attainment. Worth while, that is, provided your talent does not lie in the depiction of the sophisticated, the casually distinguished, or the bizarre, in the use of a dashing brush treatment, or the power to place your women, accompanied by men, in authentic backgrounds. None of this is wanted. You are required to take as your model the young wage-earner at her best and prettiest; indeed, youth, freshness, and a limit of some kind to her income are her cardinal, indispensable qualities. The young mother and, more rarely, the woman of fifty or so, are given a certain amount of attention. The matron, however, is never too realistic, and, when she appears, is little more than a plump elder sister of the young wage-earner herself, who is inclined to be a blonde, has invariably small hands and feet, a short nose and wide-apart eyes.

The drawings are in the main, of clothes of which paper patterns can be obtained. Some people may suppose that these are drawn and not photographed simply because these clothes exist only in the form of paper patterns and in the designer's imagination. Before being offered to the public these designs are always carried out in at least one material, as obviously it would be a poor service that supplied paper patterns of dresses whose practicability was not fully established. In a photograph reproduced on unglazed paper it would be very difficult to see every detail clearly, in particular the seams, and which way the stuff runs. If, in a luxurious magazine, it is not desirable that the clothes drawn and photo-

graphed should lose their exclusiveness by being copied on every sewing machine in the country, here the exact opposite is the case, for the artist seeks to show in the same drawing how easy the dress is to make, how to make it, and how attractive it will look when made. Considerable attention is paid to exact expression of the stuff's from which it is suggested that the dresses shall be made.

There is a good chance with papers of this kind for beginners, particularly girls ; and, whether they are given work or not, they are treated with kindness and encouragement and are given good advice. But here, more than anywhere else, it is utter waste of time to seek admission with work which, however good it may be, misses the policy and the character of the paper. They have a huge circulation with a public whose pulse they exactly know, and whom they would never dream of upsetting with unpalatable novelties. With a portfolio full of daring innovations, go elsewhere.

Although certain of these papers have a number of artists working regularly on the premises, a great deal of work is placed out, both to studios and to freelance artists working at home. The prices paid are not high ; but not unfairly low when one considers that there is not a great deal of finish required, no background at all, and that to an artist who really meets the requirements a great deal of work will regularly be given. I avoid giving prices as much as possible in this book because it is difficult to get a straight answer from any of the firms, newspapers and artists I have questioned, because prices vary astonishingly between publications that offer no other point by which they can be distinguished ; and for the best reason that prices change from time to time according to the fortunes of the magazine that pays them, and any sum I could mention with certainty now might be doubled or halved by the time this book fell into the reader's hands. But, for a single figure published in a paper of the 6d. 2d. class, less than 13s. 6d. is rarely paid, though I have heard of magazines in category II. paying 8s. 6d. ! A figure in colour fetches about 25s., while you can always expect more, from any editor, for a wash drawing than for a line drawing. Line is used more extensively than half-tone in these magazines, while a certain amount of line and colour is used (see Chapter Nine for how this is used).

A number of these magazines is devoted to children's fashions, and this is the most regular outlet for the artist who has a talent for child drawing. The children depicted are the natural offspring of the young woman in the other publications in this group, being gay, pretty and simply expressed.

(IV.) Fashion articles in the daily press are of two kinds, those that ape the best features of luxurious magazines, and those that give practical advice and illustrations, not unlike those in the group we have just been considering, but far less useful and considered. It is extremely rare to find in a daily newspaper any kind of paper pattern fashions, and only less rare to find any reference (verbal

or pictorial) to the clothes that can be bought in the shops and stores that advertise so lavishly in their pages.

Fashion Drawing Sections

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