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Tanya Ling

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詳細 2011年11月20日 17:12更新

Tanya Ling, illustrator of languid ladies for Vogue and Harper's Bazaar and painter of campaigns for Jil Sander and Givenchy, had entertained a crazy notion that she could 'be like the Wizard of Oz hiding behind a vast empire, making these moves with no one seeing me'. But when behemoth New York department store Henri Bendel filled its Fifth Avenue windows with her first collection and surrounded them with huge blow-ups of her illustrations, everyone wanted a piece of her. Life as a recluse has been put very much on hold.
To add to the work Ling does as a designer, fashion's sacred cow Marc Jacob is having her draw up huge, supposedly 'secret' illustrations for the second Louis Vuitton jewellery line. And if that was not enough to keep Ling awake at night, she shows regularly as an artist with Georgie Hopton, a collaboration that blossomed from Ling's husband William's dealings as a Brit-art curator.

Although 'Inspector Clouseau-like about details', she works like an artist, 'fleetingly, maniacally. Things have to be taken away before I tread on them.' Inspired by art, poetry, her children and her pro-Raj Indian roots, 'I'm one of those Indian people who love the Fawlty Towers, PG Wodehouse-type Englishness,' muses Ling, who came from Calcutta to London when she was three months old.

Her spontaneous approach seems to be pulling in the punters. Her madcap medley of satin prom coats scribbled with hypnotic eyes, jersey dresses with cartoon dog-bone belts and knitwear inspired by everything from daughter Evangeline's birthmark to Andy Warhol's lesser-known Egg painting were reordered within days for spring. Winter should be a hit, too, judging by the samples knocking about in her kitchen.

No flash in the pan, Ling recently secured a financial partner who has brokered deals for Gucci, and was asked to show next season at London's Institute of Contemporary Arts. Thankfully, there is no sign of her being intoxicated by her current popularity: 'You don't believe your own bullshit. You dust yourself down and you go straight home and make egg and chips.'



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