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Posts Tagged ‘Zoe Langosy’

illustration by zoe langosy

illustration by zoe langosy

Pencil has met paper. Lines have been drawn. Soon images will be cut and painstakingly applied to a sensuous form. An original concept has evolved with the core idea the same — figures clothed by nature. My photography as the “fabric” in the hands of fashion illustrator Zoe Langosy.  Here’s a sneak peek at her current work in progress, a rendering of a Valentino dress to be collaged with three of my photos.

creative swatch by zoe langosy

creative swatch by zoe langosy

In her own words: What has surprised me about the evolution of this work is that the initial drawing was classical in its rendering in part because Valentino is so classical, his fashion prim and romantic.

illustration by zoe langosy

illustration by zoe langosy

But after the initial drawing which echoed that romantic sentiment, I lost interest and began a new drawing, one more dynamic and sensual. The wonderful challenge for me is to use the Valentino dress in a different way, to take this beautiful classical garment by a master designer, and render it with a darker edge that’s more inline with my own artistic style.

photo courtesy of zoe langosy

The artist is at work, ladies and gentlemen. Stay tuned for future updates. New to this story of a unique collaboration?  Read more here: a new year and new collaborations and here fashion plus nature equals

http://www.zoe.langosy.net/

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Just last night I spoke with a young friend. I’d sent her a greeting card depicting a cat, sleek and gilded and sparkling with jewels. You see, my young friend tends toward attire that also catches the light. She’d had the card framed and was trying to decide where to hang it on her wall. She already had framed a picture of an owl (I can’t remember if I’d sent her that). She asked, do you think the owl and the cat can be placed side by side? do you think they’d get along? I replied in surprise, my dear! have you never heard of the owl and the pussycat? She hadn’t. She asked, what’s the gist? I told her that I’d share the poem in full in a while but for now it was quite alright, indeed quite wonderful, for the owl and the pussycat to be close on her wall.

The Owl and the Pussycat was first published in 1871 by Edward Lear.  A poem once often told and memorized in schools. A nonsense poem that sparked the imagination. Prequels have been written, and sequels, and many a reinterpretation.  I’m not sure that the original is shared as often as it used to be. As National Poetry Month wraps up, read the poem for yourself on the Poetry Foundation website.  And here is unique interpretation of the story available as a print at LangosyArts.

The Owl and the Pussycat Print by Zoe Langosy

The Owl and the Pussycat Print by Zoe Langosy

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fashion illustration by zoe langosy

In the Shadow of the Sun is a 2013 documentary directed and produced by Harry Freeland. I saw it for the first time a few weeks ago on PBS. As described on the film’s website, it was filmed over six years and tells the story of two albino people, one a successful older man and one a young boy, both living in Tanzania. The viewer learns of the myths that have come to be associated with these white people, the taunts endured, and in recent years the ritualized mutilations and murders. You also see people overcoming oppression, children striving to learn and to be seen as equal and indeed beautiful, and parents doing all they can to make their dreams reality.

While researching the film and trying to learn more about albinism, a condition that can affect people of all ethnicities, I came across recent articles about albino fashion models. There were a sequence of images of young people with an absence of melanin in their skin, ghostly, different and fiercely defiant in their attitude to be labeled as anything but beautiful. Fashion has been on my mind a great deal given the collaboration taking place with Zoe Langosy, so I sent her a random note asking, without really expecting an answer, how would an artist illustrate an albino. She sent a note back sharing she had done so as part of her honors thesis where she had produced a book, The Marriage of Fashion and Nature.

fashion illustration by zoe langosy

“It was a year long project. I decided to do a series of images depicting fashion made out of nature. At that stage, as a young student, my purpose was to create a perfect character and for this scene I just instinctively chose an albino and dressed him in a kimono made of pussy willows.”

With each image, including that of the albino is lyrical text.  While yet unpublished, following are a few glimpses of this beautiful handmade book.

Sources & Additional Reading

The Marriage of Fashion and Nature by Zoe Langosy (unpublished)

In the Shadow of the Sun (2012)

Zoe Langosy Website

 

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As artist Zoe Langosy and I move forward on a new collaboration, I follow her lead. And what a fabulous journey it is. I’m not the most stylish person on the block but even I know of Valentino, Alexander McQueen and a few other fashion makers out there. Zoe has introduced me to a part of the fashion world I knew little about, fashion illustration. It is amazing to me how an artist can translate the signature apparel of designers like Valentino into another medium that both promotes the original work of the designer and yet expresses the unique skills and vision of the illustrator. In this visual age there appears to be a renaissance taking place with regard to fashion illustration.  Many artists, many styles. Collage is Zoe’s medium of choice.

Creative Swatch by Zoe Langosy, pairing dress by Valentino with photographs by Cynthia Staples

I want her to write more about her creative process. How she can look at this dress by Valentino and then imagine collaging an illustration using my photos.  This is a creative swatch that she has put together to layout the pictures she intends to cut up. From top to bottom they are birch trees and grasses along the Mystic River, ice crystals on a window, and sunlight shining through an icicle.

Stay tuned for future updates!

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Kay Nielsen illustration for “The Story of a Mother” by Hans Christian Andersen

When I asked artist Zoe Langosy what she liked about this illustration by Kay Nielsen, she said, “I love the combination of nature and fashion that evokes a certain melancholy as well as beauty. A lone figure in a stark landscape, not unlike my own artwork as a fashion illustrator.  Decorative, yes, and through the decoration an emotion unveiled hinting at love, romance and most of all loss.” We weren’t sure at the time what story this work illustrated but even so “without any words embedded in the imagery is clearly a story.”  The viewing of this illustration has sparked a new collaboration — Zoe illustrating fashion collections using my nature images as part of her collage work.  Remember the Geishas? 😉

The Nielsen illustration was shared by friend, Donna Stenwall.  Donna, a former New England Regional Manager for Laura Ashley, remarked that she was drawn to the image because she has always loved winter scenes.  “This image looked so stormy, so desolate, and yet it was delicate and breathtakingly beautiful.  I was reminded of animation in the inherent motion on the page, this delicate female form, so dark in the white landscape with just a hint of caramel in her hair. Rather reminiscent of Zoe’s work.”

As we discussed collaboration, I shared with Zoe this image of evening light falling on marsh grasses. She didn’t react with her usual, “I can’t wait to cut this up!” Instead, she said, with raised eyebrow, “Can’t you imagine this as a Valentino wedding dress?” I can’t but she can and that’s the beauty of collaborating with this amazing artist. Stay tuned for updates on our progress!

LangosyArts

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Remember the hand of the budding artist? Well, mom is artist Zoe Langosy.  Recently, she mentioned how important this period of fashion weeks around the world had been in her artistic growth and I asked her to share more through her words and images …

When I was 14, the fashion world became a magic kingdom to me. Fashion took me on a journey through music, pop culture, the arts… I couldn’t get enough. Already developing into a figurative artist, my drawings became filled with long-legged, often tragic looking, beauties. All my characters were adorned in lavish attire made from a patchwork of fabrics and colors.  As this was before the internet, the way I kept up with my new found passion and muse was either on TV or through magazines.  My teenage bedroom began to overflow with Vogue’s from all over the world, Harpaar’s Bazaar, The Face, Sky… Nothing ever compared, though, to the September issue of American Vogue.

Each year seemed to compete with the year before… More pages, more looks, more exclusive inserts from designers. Each year, as summer drew to a close, my sister and I would check newsstands every day anticipating its arrival.  The first issue I purchased was in 1991. Linda Evangelista donned the cover, smoldering with red hair and tartan. I must have turned the pages of that issue a thousand times, and yet somehow kept it pristine like only a true collector could. Never letting any hands on it but my own.

photo by Zoe Langosy

24 years have passed, and I still feel a buzz when the September Vogue appears on the newsstand. It remains a guilty pleasure of mine, still inspiring my art … Of course, I have other inspirations these days as well.

These days, I’m okay if the cover gets scratched or my one-year old tears out a page. Now, it’s become so ingrained in my world it’s like buying a new set of pencils. Something I’m prepared to destroy and use purely as a visual playground that will set my imagination running.

Follow Zoe’s creative journey …

http://www.zoe.langosy.net/

Langosy Arts on Etsy

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Spring/Summer Geisha, artwork by Zoe Langosy

Spring/Summer Geisha, artwork by Zoe Langosy

I feel like I was just complaining about how long the winter was and now spring is easing into summer.  That’s all the excuse I need to share this post from the past — Embodying Nature Through Collage — about a collaboration with artist Zoe Langosy who is one of the few people in the world encouraged to cut up my photos because she incorporates the pieces into such beauty, like this Spring/Summer Geisha.  Have a good weekend, folks, and here’s to having a good summer. 😉

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