Art & Illustration

The World of 1980s Fashion Illustrator Tony Viramontes

Happy Flashback Friday! With the renewed interest in retro styles, I’m throwing it back to the 1980s today, namely to the high-octane artwork of fashion illustrator Tony Viramontes—a supremely talented artist who captured the 80s scene like no other.

Published by Laurence King, BOLD, BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED is the only available book dedicated to the prodigious talent of Tony Viramontes. The book celebrates the vision, talent and too short career of a street-wise, complex, and contradictory dandy who adored fashion and loved his family.

Valentino loved him, as did Gaultier and Hanae Mori. He worked with some of the most celebrated names in fashion—Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Dior, Versace, Issey Miyake, plus more.

Particular people inspired Tony, and he imbued their portraits with real personality. His depictions of men shared the same insolence and sensuousness he gave to his women. The mouth, the hips and shoulders thrust out, the sass, and the scowl—these became distinctive punctuations in Viramontes portraits.

Though he died prematurely of AIDS at the age of 31 in 1988, his work endures as a distinctive emblem of the 1980s fashion and club scene, and as Jean Paul Gaultier writes in the foreword “classic examples of modernity.”

For Los Angeles readers, the BOLD, BEAUTIFUL AND DAMNED exhibit will be on view at the FIDM Museum until December 21, 2013. For New York readers, I hope you were able to see the windows at Bergdorf’s before they went down. They were spectacular!

‘Bold, Beautiful and Damned: The World of 1980s Fashion Illustrator Tony Viramontes’ from Laurence King Publishing on Vimeo.

To enter for the chance to win a free copy of the book, simply leave a comment below sharing your favorite celebrity or trend from the 1980s!

Patricia Quan
US Marketing & Publicity Assistant
Laurence King Publishing

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