It’s not your imagination…fashion illustration is having a moment. The most recent FIT faculty member to bring the art form into the spotlight is Bil Donovan, adjunct associate professor in Illustration, whose promotional poster for the current Broadway production of Gigi, starring Vanessa Hudgens, was recently featured in The New York Times Theater section.
“There’s a whole new generation discovering fashion illustration because people are sharing these images,” Donovan said. “It’s fantastic. Social media more than anything else has given it a new audience.”
Donovan’s image for Gigi was inspired in large part by the 1958 film of the same name, starring Leslie Caron, Maurice Chevalier, and Louis Jourdan, because neither the production’s star nor costume designer had yet been chosen when he was hired to create the poster. Though this is Donovan’s first Broadway poster, he hopes to do more. “The response I’ve gotten to the piece has been pretty amazing,” he said.
When Donovan isn’t doing illustrations for Broadway, for New York magazine, or for Christian Dior, to name just a few of his projects, he’s teaching at FIT to ensure that the art form continues into the next generation.
“I love what I do,” he said. “When you are this passionate about something, it’s not really work. But I don’t take it for granted.”