René Bouët-Willaumez (1900 – 1979)
Count René Bouët-Willaumez was born in Brittany in 1900. After qualifying as an engineer at ‘l’École Centrale’, he abandoned engineering to settle in Paris to pursue an artistic career. He first started working for French Vogue in 1929, moving to London in 1931, and to New York during the Second World War, working closely with Vogue in each city.
At a time when fashion photography was emerging as an equally valid means of showing the new season’s fashions in magazines, René Bouët-Willaumez’s incisive, spontaneous and fluid drawings, full of movement and supremely elegant, were perennially in demand, and he continued to work until 1958 in Paris where he had returned after the Second World War.
His gift was for a dramatic presentation of the latest, highest fashion, imbuing his drawings with the inherent drama of ‘la Mode’. Sadly, by the end of the 1950s, fashion magazines had come to depend entirely on photography as a means of illustration.
Count René Bouët-Willaumez died in 1979.