Fida, the Fashion Illustration and Drawing Awards, is launching its first Fashion Arts Summer Exhibition which will be hosted by Istituto Marangoni Miami during the upcoming Miami Swim week. The school’s Billboard Building, designed by Shulman + Associates, in the city’s Design District, is celebrated for its blend of traditional and contemporary architecture, and will showcase artwork which will similarly blend craftsmanship with the latest technology.
Fida’s mission to promote fashion artists around the globe forges ahead with the exhibit entitled Ultramarine based on the idea of exploring the blue hues of the lapis lazuli, the key ingredient of the intense ultramarine pigment. Artworks will be fittingly displayed against the backdrop of the dazzling Miami sea and sky. Applications are currently being accepted and fashion artists can find all information on the FidaWorldwide website.
“Ultramarine remains one of the finest and most desired pigments, used by renaissance painters and contemporary artists alike,” said Diane Morgan, Fida co-founder. “The artists have been inspired by the color, which has previously been used to depict the robes of the Virgin Mary to symbolize holiness and humility, to modern day creations including the cyanotypes of Robert Rauschenberg and as inspiration for the fashion collections of Phoebe Philo in SS17 for Celine, using the body print artworks of Yves Klein.”
Fashion illustration unites Fida and Istituto Marangoni
Fashionunited spoke with the Dean of Fashion at Marangoni, Massimo Casagrande, who is committed to granting more exposure to fashion illustration, and who had previously worked with Fida co-founder Patrick Morgan on a joint show for the London Design Festival in 2016. “The school has an 86-year legacy of creating fashion professionals and, over the past couple of years, Miami has been undergoing an amazing creative and artistic transformation, so it just felt right to do this now,” said Casagrande.
Students at Istituto Marangoni Miami have had regular involvement with Swim Week, working backstage or in showrooms to gain industry experience. “We will also be having a 3-month pop-up showroom in our building with swimwear and cruise collections, and inviting press, buyers, and industry people to the building to view the collections,” said Casagrande. However this time round, there is an added bonus for the school. “This year will be special for us as two of our graduates have launched their own swimwear brands so we will be promoting their collections during MSW.”
As Miami opens up post-covid, Casagrande sees only opportunity. “I see fashion illustration as a diary of the times, a visual diary of an era that isn’t photographic and homogenized, but expressed through the pen, inks and brushes,” he said. During lockdown, when photoshoots and fashion shows were cancelled, he believes illustration, which blossomed across social media, helped keep the fashion fantasy alive, and for him the importance of the January 2020 Vogue Italia which eschewed photoshoots in a gesture of sustainability to create the entire issue with illustrations still resonates. “Back in the 80s and 90s, Istituto Marangoni used to offer courses in fashion illustration, and something I would like to do with the Miami school is to bring back this art form as it’s so important and relevant to our industry,” said Casagrande. “Through this collaboration with Patrick and Fida, I feel we are taking our first steps towards achieving this.”
Admission to Ultramarine will be free and open to the public, between July 7 and August 5, 2021. A private view by invitation only will be held on July 6 and all artworks will be available to purchase on the FidaWorldwide website. A percentage of the sales will go to Istituto Marangoni Miami and Fida scholarships.
Images provided by Istituto Marangoni Miami and Fida.
Fashion editor Jackie Mallon is also an educator and author of Silk for the Feed Dogs, a novel set in the international fashion industry