Get Lit: David Downton, Portraits of the World's Most Stylish Women

Get Lit: David Downton, Portraits of the World's Most Stylish Women

Legendary fashion illustrator and celebrity portrait artist David Downton gives V his stylish reading list.

Legendary fashion illustrator and celebrity portrait artist David Downton gives V his stylish reading list.

Text: Christina Cacouris

In Get Lit, we sit down with authors and creatives to hear about their favorite books du jour. Today we speak with renowned fashion illustrator and portrait artist David Downton, whose tome of celebrity vignettes Portraits of the World's Most Stylish Women includes icons from the likes of Dita Von Teese, to Paloma Picasso, to Daphne Guinness. We spoke with David to hear about some of his favorite books that have inspired him. Read on for his (most appropriately) stylish selection.

SACRED MONSTERS, SACRED MASTERS by JOHN RICHARDSON

My holiday reading, every holiday (I am delighted to return to it), is John Richardson’s gleefully malicious collection of essays detailing the tangled lives and loves of some of the 20th century’s most vivid monstres sacrèes, among them Picasso, Dali, Cecil Beaton and Vita Sackville West. Delicious!

THE BEST OF FLAIR by FLEUR COWLES.

The most stylish book ever, distilling the highlights of the most stylish magazine, ever, Flair. Fleur Cowles edited both the original magazine and this volume with an all–seeing, curatorial eye. Flair lasted for just 12 issues from 1950/ 51, but it’s ravishing design and extraordinary production values have never been equalled.

THE WALT DISNEY FILM ARCHIVES 1921 – 1968 TASCHEN

A mouth-watering look at the making of the classic Disney animated movies. In the pre Pixar world these were drawings, acting (watching them as a child made me want to become an artist). Looking at the exhilarating draughtsmanship here, you do wonder if the Disney studios were the greatest art school there ever was.

A STORY LATELY TOLD and WATCH ME by ANJELICA HUSTON

Two volumes of autobiography as lyrical, engaging and beautifully written as you might expect from this regal, rebellious spirit.I drew her recently and was as instantly in her thrall. Legend, anyone?

DAVID DOWNTON PHOTOGRAPHED BY JACOBUS SNYMAN

Credits: PHOTOGRAPH BY Jacobus Snyman

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