The art of fashion


Gray M.C.A brings together a new exhibition of more than 30 works by fashion illustrator Gladys Perint Palmer, with bright strokes of colour capturing the best couture looks from fashion's biggest names. 

Gladys Perint Palmer says her award-winning career in fashion illustration began by accident. As a student at Central Saint Martins, she only changed to the study of illustration at the last minute. The fortuitous change has resulted in Palmer being labelled one of the world’s most talked-about fashion illustrators - in 1998, Phaidon’s The Fashion Book named her as one of the 500 most influential people in fashion since 1860. 

Perint Palmer studied fashion design at Central Saint Martin's School of Art in London, under the guidance of illustrator Elizabeth Suter and Muriel Pemberton, the woman who 'invented fashion education', according to Palmer. She continued to the Parsons School of Design in New York where she focused on fashion illustration and, in the early Eighties, was appointed Fashion Editor of the San Francisco Examiner. 

Along with Suter and Pemberton, Perint Palmer credits her international career to Italian Vogue editor Anna Piaggi. The two had a working relationship starting in 1989 and continuing until Piaggi’s death in 2012. Meanwhile she thanks Connie Gray of Gray M.C.A. for her current career, which these days includes virtual Masterclasses and exhibitions alongside client work. 

Advertising clients have included Oscar de la Renta, Dior, Valentino, and Chanel as well as Neiman-Marcus and the Metropolitan Museum and Perint Palmer has exhibited internationally in New York, San Francisco, Milan, Paris, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and London. 


A Fine Line in Fashion: The Art of Gladys Perint Palmer is a celebration and retrospective of an outstanding life in fashion, of one of the most influential and respected illustrators of the modern era. 

The exhibition invites visitors on a dynamic journey through style and haute couture. Continuing an essential and skilled tradition in a time where illustrations were often overlooked for the camera, Perint Palmer's electric illustrations are filled with colour, life and soul, complete with a mischievous undercurrent, synonymous with the artists' world and front row seat at haute couture shows in London, Paris, Milan and New York.

Perint Palmer says “Drawings take minutes to create and a lifetime to perfect. All my drawings begin with a line, which for me is as important as the character of the person I am drawing. The line defines movement, attitude and personality, and I build on this line dependent on the figure I am portraying. The figure almost always dictates the medium that I use and I draw people as I see them - the best are all beautiful."

A Fine Line in Fashion runs at Cromwell Place from 16 - 20 February with a Masterclass on 16 February, a conversation with the artist and Sam Conti on 17 February and an artist-led exhibition tour on 19 February. The exhibition will subsequently travel to Gray M.C.A Bath from 2 March - 16 April 2022.


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