Gray M.C.A

Théâtre de la Mode: An Exhibition by David Downton

Hosted by: Gray M.C.A.


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What's On / Past exhibitions / Théâtre de la Mode: An Exhibition by David Downton

Past Exhibition Information

Nov. 15, 2023 - Nov. 26, 2023

Wing Gallery

Gray M.C.A.

Théâtre de la Mode: An Exhibition by David Downton explores the drama of fashion in a new series of striking works that observes the majesty of couture through an elegant narrative of charcoal that draws on Downton's own reflections of attending Paris Couture over the past twenty five years.

About the artist

David Downton is today's most celebrated fashion artist who carries the golden age of fashion illustration into the 21st century with an unparalleled sophistication. For the past 25 years Downton has been uniquely invited to draw the Paris haute couture shows with his work featuring regularly in for Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Vanity Fair, The Financial Times, The Sunday Times and The Telegraph. Amongst an extensive list of clients with whom Downton has collaborated are Dior, Chanel, Tiffany & Co., Harrods and Estée Lauder.

In the tradition of the great masters of fashion illustration in the early 20th century who were invited to paint the portraits of great beauties of their time, Downton expertly blurs the lines between fashion and fine portraiture and has consequently been invited to paint some of the most famous and beautiful icons of our age including Cate Blanchett, Dita Von Teese, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Catherine Deneuve, Joan Collins, Iman, Linda Evangelista, Rachel Weisz and Paloma Picasso.

In 2011 Downton was appointed the first Artist-in-Residence for Claridge’s Hotel, London to paint the hotel’s most illustrious guests from the world of fashion and style. Downton’s portraits are now held in the hotel’s permanent collection and currently line the entrance to the Painters Room cocktail bar. Amongst Downton’s most high profile commissions was the exhibition artwork for the seminal exhibition ‘Golden Age of Couture’ at The Victoria & Albert Musuem in 2007.

Downton acts as Editor at Large writing and illustrating for Airmail magazine edited by former Vanity Fair Editor Graydon Carter and has written two bestselling books; Masters of Fashion Illustration and Portraits of the World’s Most Stylish Women (Laurence King). His most recent book Drawing Carmen was published in 2021 (DD Publishing Ink). Downton’s work is held in the permanent collections of The Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Palais Galliera Musée de la Mode, Paris and The Frances Neady Collection of Original Fashion Illustration, New York. Museum exhibitions have included The Victoria & Albert Museum, London and Museo ABC, Madrid.

Downton’s influence and sublime eye is considered the key to the revival of fashion illustration as a refined and entirely artful medium in the communication of fashion, style and beauty for a contemporary audience.

Learn more about David Downton at https://www.daviddownton.com


Image credit: Courtesy of Gray M.C.A

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About the Hosts

Gray M.C.A.

Gray M.C.A.

Gray M.C.A are leading specialists in the fields of original fashion illustration, artist’s textiles, and design. Exhibiting in London and New York the gallery works closely with institutions, curators, and researchers. Founded in 2010 by Ashley and Connie Gray, Gray M.C.A annually curates internationally acclaimed exhibitions that celebrate and promote the beauty, innovation, and style of these three disciplines.