Seven Questions for Fashion Illustrator Gladys Perint Palmer


On June 1, Firefall Media released Adam & Yves, the latest book of fashion illustrations by Gladys Perint Palmer (who doubles as executive director of the Academy of Art University's School of Fashion). Designed by Rod Dyer and edited by Elihu Blotnick, the tome presents Palmer's fresh and modern take on fashion history, peppered with her quick-witted insight and insider's perspective. 

Palmer's signature illustrations have been plastered on banners and promo materials during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Fall 2011 and Spring 2012, and her editorial work has been featured everywhere from The New York Times to Vogue and The New Yorker. She still contributes monthly to and is consistently called upon by such high-end advertising clients as Chanel, Dior, and Valentino. In other words, this is a coffee table book you want to add to your collection. But before you buy, check out our Q&A with GPP herself.

In five words or less, tell us why we should all own a copy of Adam & Yves.
To be amused and surprised.

If we only had one minute to flip through this book, what pages shouldn't we miss and why?
Page 32 because Coco Chanel was also a courtesan, and her brand is well and alive today. Page 45 Kama Sutra for sex. Page 66 because even the poorest of the poor have fashion aspirations. Page 113 for a good fright. And Page 146 for the idiot, John Galliano.

You add a touch of humor and whimsy to your illustrations of an industry that takes itself very seriously. How do you make that work?
Some enjoy it, others ban me.

Is there any kind of fashion you won't illustrate?
Fur. One time, animal activists threw pigs' blood all over the runway after I had previewed a Bob Mackie wedding dress with a touch of fur.

Best memory from your days working at Vogue and Harper's Bazaar?
The November 1962 cover that I illustrated for British Vogue. For a month, a poster of the cover—Grace Coddington in a hat—was plastered around London. My head got too big for any hat!

Who's your fashion muse?
Audrey Hepburn. I met her at the end of her life at a (Hubert de) Givenchy collection. She was covered with wrinkles, absolutely beautiful, inside and outside. Not a dry eye in the house.

Most cringe-worthy fashion faux pas?
Hipster pants and muffin tops.

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