British artist turned LA fashion illustrator, Cate Parr, has the ability to paint pictures prettier than the ones we see in the pages of the top fashion magazines- literally. If Anna Wintour had a spread of photos in front of her and had the option to only choose one, one of Cate’s watercolors would always be Vogue’s cover. I guess it’s no surprise then that many of Cate’s illustrations and watercolors are interpretations of the covers of Vogue from every country in addition to other magazines and periodicals. Conceptually, the goal of a fashion magazine’s cover is to draw you in, tell a story of an idealized life, and ultimately, entice you to purchase the publication. Magazine editors achieve this goal by placing relevant celebrities, well-known models, and the designer clothes of our dreams on their covers; With Cate’s illustrations and prints, it doesn’t matter if you can discern which girl is drawn or painted, how well known she is, or what she’s wearing. In fact, it’s hard to tell in many cases which girl is depicted- not because of Cate’s level of talent- but because she lets the colors of her watercolors blend and enhance the beauty of her subject. The result is always something more than the original: more beautiful, captivating, mysterious, thought-provoking- something indescribable. Cate states that she is:
“guided by the desire to work differently in a traditional medium, with its fluidity and spontaneity, it’s the mistakes and the unexpected that makes watercolour so alluring.”
I apologize in advance for not being able to edit down the number of images that I post- they’re all so beautiful!
This image of Charlotte Casiraghi is absolutely ethereal. I love the spot of green in her eye. You really get the sense that the girl before you is looking you directly in the eye, trying desperately to communicate. She doesn’t look frozen in time like in a photograph; the watercolors make her look alive and allow her hair to blow in the wind, her lips to purse, and light reflect in her eye with a hint of sadness.
I’ll let you make your own judgements on Cate’s following watercolors. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
This is a watercolor of Vogue Turkey’s First Issue!
The seductive look in the eyes in this print is piercing. Somehow you can just tell this is the cover of Vogue Paris- even if it didn’t say so.
The blue watercolors really highlight Kate Moss’s eyes in this print in a way that even the best mascara, shadow, and eyeliner never could.
The cool tones and shadows in this print can really take your breath away.
Charlotte’s subtle tilt of the head gives this image attitude, and the signature on the cover of Vogue Paris shows she thinks she’s hot stuff!
This is my personal favorite of Cate’s Vogue Watercolors. The image is a Vogue Italia Beauty Cover and the details are incredibly intricate. It’s hard for me to look away from this illustration because I always find something new when I look at it… and that lace! I’ve never seen lace so realistic in a piece of art before!
On a more personal note, Cate Parr’s prints will always be special to me because the print below, Flower Couture, is the first piece of art I ever bought myself. As an aspiring stylist, this purchase was a pivotal moment in establishing my independence and declaring my personal style. This 24″ x 35″ print still hangs in my home today and will certainly follow me to my next one.
Check out Cate’s shop, silverridgestudio, on Etsy. Considering the quality of her art, Cate’s prices are extremely reasonable starting around $35 and then vary based the prints size- anywhere from 8.5″ x 11″ to 24″ x 35″. You can also visit Cate’s website and follow her on Twitter and Pinterest!
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