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Lumps, Bumps, & Fashion Fist-Pumps

July 21, 2017

I love the illustrations in The Wall Street Journal, especially their Weekend edition.

I’d like to do some work for The Journal, so I audition.

How? By illustrating WSJ articles that did not feature illustrations. Here’s the latest.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

The article was titled “Fashion’s Reigning Extremist.” Author: Christina Binkley.

The subject: fashion designer Rei Kawakubo. A major retrospective of Ms. Kawakubo’s work is currently on display at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Some excerpts from the article:blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Since bringing her label Comme des Garçons (“Like Boys”) to Paris in 1981, (she)
has worked relentlessly to introduce the public to the possibility of arraying the human body in new shapes. To do so, she often goes to extremes.

In her 1997 collection, entitled “Body Meets Dress – Dress Meets Body,” she placed feather-filled appendages where no woman would want to be bulbous: on the neck or shoulders or asymmetrically on the hips. Soon, fashion-industry wags were calling the collection, “Lumps and Bumps.”blank vertical space, 32 pixels highwoman in underwear poised to shake hands with big lumpy bumpy Rei Kawakubo fashion designer dress on mannequin

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highMs. Kawakubo was born in 1942, and would have been 13 in 1955. That was the year Billy Wilder‘s “The Seven Year Itch” was released.

The film contains the famous scene of Marilyn Monroe‘s dress flying up when she stands over a subway grate. I found myself wondering if it might have been an influence.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
parody of Marilyn Monroe's famous subway grate dress blow up shot from movie The Seven Year Itch lumpy bumpy look a la fashion designer Rei Kawakuboblank vertical space, 32 pixels highMs. Kawakubo’s designs clearly make an impression.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

Her shows in Paris lately have seemed to cross the line from fashion to performance art, with giant dysmorphic shapes that evoke pregnancy for some observers; others claim to detect subliminal messages about womanhood. 

But who knows? The designer routinely declines to discuss her work. Her reticence only increases her mystique. Attending a Comme show in Paris is akin to entering a cathedral in Italy; there is hush and awe.blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
empty cathedral with pillars pews altar stained glass window angels wearing lumpy robes parody of fashion designer Rei Kawakubo

blank vertical space, 32 pixels highAndrew Bolton is the head curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.blank vertical space, 16 pixels high

What is Mr. Bolton’s favorite among Kawakubo collections? The lumpy, bumpy 1997 “Body Meets Dress.” He says, “It’s one of the best collections I’ve ever seen.”blank vertical space, 32 pixels high
Two models wearing lumpy bumpy dresses by fashion designer Rei Kawakubo

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Thoughts? I’d appreciate your feedback.

You might also enjoy this post about busts, likewise inspired by a WSJ article.

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About Mark: I’m an illustrator specializing in humor, branding, social media, and content marketing. I create images that get content seen and shared.

You can view my portfolio, and connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Questions? Send me an email.

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. July 21, 2017 9:56 AM

    Absolutely fantastic! I love the way both the girl and the dress extend their hand(?) toward each other.


    • July 21, 2017 8:31 PM

      Ha! Yes, the ol’ Shake-The-Invisible-Hand trick– always a bit unnerving!! Glad you enjoyed it, and many thanks for your kind and good-humored comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. July 21, 2017 10:48 AM

    I am pretty sure that by the time you read this comment, WSJ will have already commissioned you… forever! If not, then they must have been attacked by a malevolent fiendish virus, in which case I am going high up to Zeus to fix it! Yes, I am back and goodness, I am so very very happy to be back and finding this genius work to greet me! 🙂 I raise my glass of ambrosia to you 🍨🍸🍹🍶🍧🍸🍷 [okay, ambrosia comes in various flavors over here!] 🙂


    • July 21, 2017 8:49 PM

      Whoa! One look at that well-remembered (and sorely missed!) icon, and I’m floating on air!! Who needs ambrosia?? Marina has returned, and that is cause for intoxication!!

      So good to see you! I felt a seismic shock today, but it wasn’t an earthquake, it was simply the world lurching back into its proper orbit– good thing you showed up when you did!!

      Thanks for all the kind words, and I shall be popping over to Mt. O in my virtual rocket ship to see you soon!! 🚀🚀🚀🍨🍧🍦🍷🍸🍹🍼🚀🚀🚀🌖💥🚑👽👽👽👽👽👽👽👽😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Margy permalink
    July 21, 2017 10:26 PM

    My thoughts on what women will buy and wear in the name of fashion – are best left unsaid… but I wish you all the best in your quest with the WSJ!


    • July 25, 2017 9:24 PM

      Haw!! Thank you for that self-censored comment, Margy, and for your very kind uncensored one!! Hope you are well, always a delight to see you here! : )


  4. RKLikesReeses permalink
    July 25, 2017 12:50 PM

    Inspired idea, auditioning that way! If the Wall Street Journal doesn’t contact you right away then they’re not being very smart. Your illustrations are fantastic! The nod to Marilyn Monroe’s famous air-blown white dress? Stellar!
    Still smiling over those lumpy bumpy dresses. 🙂


    • July 25, 2017 9:36 PM

      My dear RK–!! Your most kind and flattering comment knocked me outta my chair, down the stairs, out the door, and down the street, where I caromed off a lamppost and a dumpster like a pinball! I returned home with lumps and bumps of my own, but I was also able to pick up a pizza and a bag of Reeses– so I’m doin’ OK!

      Glad you enjoyed the illos, and thanks a million for all your support!! 😊🔨🚑

      Liked by 1 person

  5. August 3, 2017 1:56 PM

    Hope one day you get commissioned for some work from Wall Street Press. Hey, how about Washington Post..:D? Best wishes.


    • August 14, 2017 5:19 PM

      Ha!! Thanks, Jean!– and please forgive my very tardy reply. My quest for a WSJ assignment continues! I suspect all the WSJ art directors’ hands are poised over the phone, on the very cusp of calling me and asking me to illustrate some momentous story!! Yes, that’s what I suspect… : )

      I actually did several cover illustrations for the Washington Post Weekly Edition some years ago. Then there was a change of editors, and I no longer had the inside track. Very exciting while it lasted, however. Hope you’re having a great summer, with plenty of jolly bike rides! Thanks again!


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