Marshall, Francis; [Cowles, Fleur]
Fashion Drawing. The How To Do It Series Number 30. New Edition
London and New York: The Studio Publications, (1955). Slim quarto, original red cloth lettered in white, original unclipped pictorial dust jacket. Black-and-white illustrations throughout text. Posthumous bookplate “from the library of Fleur Cowles” to front pastedown, ink inscription from Marshall to Cowles on front free endpaper. Light edgewear to jacket, with short closed tear to front panel and occasional stray smudge.
“New Edition” of English illustrator Francis Marshall's practical guide to fashion drawing, first published in 1941 as part of the How To Do It Series; other notable works in the series include Clare Leighton on wood engraving and Ansel Adams on photography. Known for his speed and versatility, Marshall was a top commercial illustrator, celebrated for his ability to produce a lifelike sketch under adverse conditions. In Fashion Drawing, he offers advice on materials, technique, and the market, providing examples from the best fashion illustrators of the day: “To draw what is in front of you is not always enough in fashion work. It is necessary to understand the significance of what may strike you as an absurdity when you first see it. . . . A study of past clothes all helps to give your work knowledge and conviction.” Marshall has inscribed this copy in the year of publication to legendary fashion editor Fleur Cowles, “who has a habit of inspiring artists & encouraging them (but in a hurry).” Cowles's wildly innovative Flair magazine raised production values to an unprecedented height, incorporating pop-ups, cutouts, textiles, rose-scented paper stock, and heat-sensitive invisible ink. A near-fine copy, with excellent provenance.