FFF LOVES … David’s iconic and whimsical illustrations of fashion, celebrity and life. A true genius!
STAY: Grand Hotel Nord-Pinus, Arles and Hotel Nord-Pinus, Tanger. My two favourite hotels, bar none. The owner, Anne Igou, has an artist’s eye. I could happily live in either.
SHOP: Most of the time, I look like Howard Hughes. When I need clothes for work I go to Dover St Market or Yohji Yamamoto in London. Both know the look I’m after: ‘Artist doing well’.
EAT: The Monkey Bar, New York. So hip it hurts. Go to people watch (Valentino, Graydon Carter, Fran Liebowitz, Gwyneth Paltrow the night I was there) Relish the Ed Sorel murals and the food’s not bad either.
VISIT: The V&A Museum, London. The greatest museum in the world.
DRINK: Bemelmans Bar, New York. The ultimate upscale bar in NY. More murals to relish, this time by Ludwig Bemelmans. The barman, Tommy, has been in residence for 50 years and will on occasion reminisce about the bar’s glittering past.
EAT: The Regency and The Melrose, two old school fish restaurants next door to each other on Brighton seafront. Delicious local fish, silver service, it’s like going back to the 1950’s in a good way.
SHOP: Astier de Villatte, Paris. Brilliant for note books, candles, all the things that you don’t want but do need.
DRINK: Bar 228, Paris. Take out a second mortgage and go for a perfect martini at this sexy, discreet and ultimately Parisian bar, reimagined recently by Phillipe Starck. A haunt of of one time regular Salvador Dali.
EAT: Chani, Ithaca. A perfect blend of traditional Greek food and sublime views of the Ionian high above Vathi. A permanent holiday.
RELAX: At home. In my case that is the Sussex countryside, a long way from everything.
About David Downton:
David Downton was born in Kent, in the south of England in 1959. He studied at Canterbury ( Foundation year 1977- 1978) and Wolverhampton (BA hons illustration/graphics 1979-1981). In 1984 he moved to Brighton and began his illustration career. For the next 12 years - a period he describes as ‘wagging my tail when the phone rang’ - he worked on a wide variety of projects ranging from advertising and packaging to illustrating fiction, cook books and, occasionally, fashion.
In 1996, the Financial Times commissioned him to draw at the couture shows and since then David has become known principally as a fashion illustrator. His reports from the shows have been seen internationally, in the US, China, Australia and the Middle East, as well as in almost every leading UK broadsheet and supplement.
David’s commercial client list includes: Tiffany & Co, Bloomingdales, Barney’s, Harrods, Top Shop, Chanel, Dior, L’Oreal, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, V Magazine and the V&A Museum. In 1998, he began working on a portfolio of portraits (from life) of some of the world’s most beautiful women, including Erin O’Connor, Paloma Picasso, Catherine Deneuve, Linda Evangelista, Carmen Dell’Orefice, Iman and Dita Von Teese.
In 2007, David launched Pourquoi Pas? the first ever journal of Fashion Illustration. He is a visiting Professor at London College of Fashion, and in April 2009 received an honory doctorate from the Academy of Art University, San Francisco.