American Fashion Art 1960-1990
Three Decades of Advertising Drawings

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About This Item

Frederic A. Sharf with Susan Ward

This publication presents a selection of women's fashions, dated 1960-1990, produced by artists whose assignment was to create drawings that would motivate women to purchase the clothing depicted. These artists needed to understand the garments, and then to determine how best should be portrayed. They had to be aware of the target market for which the clothing was designed - for example, a wealthy, sophisticated woman, or a young, active working girl.

During these three decades there was a substantial change in the retail system for selling women's clothing. The ladies' specialty shops and large downtown department stores which had characterized American fashion retailing after World War II were either disappearing or consolidating. Our artists worked for stores which is many cases no longer exist. Styles changed frequently during these decades: mini-skirts, pants (even for evening wear); slim profiles or bold, oversized profiles. A fashion illustrator needed to be an astute observer of contemporary society.

62 pages.