An alternative to the luck of the Irish
Curator's Corner, 3/20/2015

Kevyn Aucoin Chelsea set

I spotted this set at Barney's when I was plotting my order for their gift-with-purchase a while back.  In honor of their new store in Chelsea, Barney's teamed up with the Kevyn Aucoin line to pay tribute to the legendary makeup artist and his old stomping grounds in the Chelsea neighborhood.  While no artist's name was listed in the description of the collection, I knew the design had to be the work of an outside illustrator.


Barneys Kevyn Aucoin Chelsea set

Barneys Kevyn Aucoin Chelsea collection

Barneys Kevyn Aucoin Chelsea collection
(images from 

A quick search yielded the name Justin Teodoro, a New York City-based fashion illustrator.  Born and raised in Canada, Teodoro graduated from the Parsons School of Design and worked for several fashion labels before becoming an independent artist.  Naturally I took a peek at some of his other work. 

Justin Teodoro - Dries van Noten

Justin Teodoro - Chanel fall 2016

Justin Teodoro - Miu Miu fall 2016

Justin Teodoro - Giambattista Valli(images from

What I find most interesting about Teodoro's work is the range of media he (literally) draws from.  Artist self-portraits, TV, movies, street photos of off-duty models - all are fair game for him, and there's no one era he's partial to either.  In his Instagram feed you can see images of Audrey Hepurn and Catherine Deneuve (1960s) to Cyndi Lauper and clips from Pretty in Pink ('80s) to Cindy Crawford and Seinfeld character Elaine Benes ('90s) to photos from Sex in the City ('00s).  He explains, "My tastes are pretty eclectic and range from such high to low things that it’s all a pretty vast collage of ideas.  I try not to shy away from that because that is essentially who I am.  I’m always interested in what I see around me and I want to capture it all through my work."  Fashion photography is particularly influential.  See, for example, Teodoro's take on this 1978 photo by Peter Schlesinger:

Justin Teodoro - Peter Schlesinger(images from and

Or this 1992 Vogue cover, shot by Steven Meisel:

Justin Teodoro - 1992 Vogue cover(images from and

Model Trish Goff:

Justin Teodoro - Trish Goff(image from

And more recently, Sandy Liang's fall 2016 collection:

Justin Teodoro - Sandy Liang

I think fashion photography is a key source of inspiration for Teodoro because of how he views his style of illustration: "It really is just wanting to see what I like in front of me on paper.  When I was little I drew cartoon characters so they were on the page in front of me. When I see a cool stylish girl on the street today I want to draw her because I want to create that same image in my own style.  I guess it’s my own form of documentation...To me  the mood and the attitude was always important. Illustration became the stronger part of my design process I guess. It was fun for me to create that world where, yes it was about the clothes, but it was more about the vision and the personality of that character."  He perceives his illustrations to serve the same purpose as fashion photos, i.e. to capture all aspects of a certain moment in time in addition to the clothes.  But it's not simply a blind reproduction of these photos; rather, Teodoro is putting his own illustrative spin on found images.

Getting back to the Barney's collection, I was able to pick out a few photos I believe Teodoro based his illustrations on to depict Kevyn Aucoin.  You can see all of them pretty well on the back of tote bag.  This one appears on the top middle and lower right.

Kevyn Aucoin with Kate Moss
(image from 

This one was the basis for the illustration in the lower left corner of the bag.

Kevyn Aucoin with Linda Evangelista, 1995(image from 

And this photo was borrowed for the illustration on the top right. 

Kevyn Aucoin at work(image from

I don't feel compelled to purchase this set for the Museum (and I can't anyway, as it's sold out), but I thought it was a fitting collaboration.  And I enjoy seeing Teodoro's unique take on an enormous variety of fashion influencers and icons and thought he did a good job paying homage to Aucoin.  As a side note, how did I not realize there was an entire exhibition on him in 2014?!  So embarrassing.  I'm also kinda mad no one asked me to contribute my expertise on beauty-themed exhibitions. 

What do you think both of this set and of Teodoro's work?



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