A few weeks ago I visited the exhibition of the fashion illustrator Arturo Elena in Madrid’s Costume Museum. I was surprised with these illustrations because they are really works of Art.
Arturo Elena’s images have a very clear personality. First of all, as he is fashion illustrator, the main point are the costumes. The clues are the colour and the texture. He uses special felt-tip pens to define perfectly the different kind of fabrics: leather, mohair, damask, satin, velvet… It´s great how Elena manages to represent them. Another interesting point is the female figure. He draws the models extremely tall and thin, just like El Greco canon, and maybe this quality is a tribute to him. Elena draws also men but are not pre-eminent in his production.
He is a successful artist, their dawings appears in important fashion magazines and draws for important firms as Roberto Verino, Chanel, Loewe or Citroën.
Just today I want to talk about one of his drawings called “Fashion and chic” (2006) cover of “El lujo” magazine. It represents a luxury dinner of a singular couple: a woman and a cheetah. The black dressed woman looks like Audrey Hepburn and wears a black hat. Her fur coat is abandoned with indolence over the chair, no matter it´s partially on the floor. The table is ready for a couple soirée: roses, candle, champagne and wine. There are also a magazine and the black gloves of her. However the male partner is a cheetah. There is a kind of sorcery. It´s like the woman has transformen the man in animal, she is like Circe but this time she transforms man in a very elegant animal, the fastest feline.
Woman and animal are looking at each other’s eyes. It’s a kind of hypnotism, and at the same time means seduction. It´s the triumph of the female over the male, she needs no longer a man, she prefers a romantic dinner with a cheetah, the most elegant animal.
The composition of the illustration is also great. The woman draws a diagonal: the legs far from the table and the body, arms and head over, locating all her attention to her partner. The cheetah stands vertical showing its back, the head is turned right and its tail draws a curve towards the table.
I’m very fascinated with this illustration, no conventional at all, to represent the kind of independent women whose main interests are fashion and chic. Enjoy it.