Retro Loves…Mary Blair

Mary Blair examines concept drawings for "Cinderella." Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

Mary Blair examines concept drawings for “Cinderella.” Courtesy of The Walt Disney Company

You might not be familiar with the name Mary Blair, but it’s more than possible you’re aware of her work. Her vibrant colours and stylised designs pervade Disney animated films from the 40’s & 50’s such as Cinderella, Alice In Wonderland and Peter Pan.

Fairy Godmother from Cinderella by Mary Blair

Fairy Godmother from Cinderella by Mary Blair

It would be difficult for anyone not to enjoy the utterly charming art of Mary Blair. Though much of her art veers toward abstraction, she was one of Walt Disney’s favourite artists; he personally responded to her use of colour, naïve graphics, and the storytelling aspects in her pictures. Her bright,  modernist style reigned supreme at Walt Disney’s studio for nearly 30 years, during which she created iconic illustrations, drawings and concept art for some of our favourite childhood movies.

Mary Blair concept art for Disney's Alice in Wonderland.

Mary Blair concept art for Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.

Mary Blair joined The Walt Disney Company in 1940 and worked briefly on art for Dumbo, an early version of Lady and the Tramp, and a second version of Fantasia titled “Baby Ballet” which was not released until the late 1990s.

Mary Blair concept art of Peter Pan and children silhouetted around Big Ben

Mary Blair concept art of Peter Pan and children silhouetted around Big Ben

Her insight wound its way into more than just films. In the 1960s, Disney recruited Blair’s expertise in the design and creation of the memorable “It’s a Small World” ride, transforming her two-dimensional illustrations into three-dimensional works of art and large-scale theme park murals and attractions. Blair created murals that would be showcased in Disney parks, hotels and other Disney attractions from California to Florida.

Mary Blair's It's A Small World concept art for Disney

Mary Blair’s It’s A Small World concept art for Disney

So what has this gorgeous artwork got to do with our little clothing shop in Dublin you ask? Well we stock some beautiful pieces with stunning prints by Mary Blair.

Pin Up Girl "Jenny" skirt with Mary Blair's adorable Train Border Print.

Pin Up Girl “Jenny” skirt with Mary Blair’s adorable Train Border Print.

The Magic of Mary Blair Collection” is a collaboration between Pinup Girl and the estate of Mary Blair. This 50s and 60s- inspired collection brings this iconic artist’s whimsical Mid-century modern art to life in beautiful and timeless style for the modern woman.

The "Ella Dress"  with a romantic Lips and Roses Print from Mary Blair.

The “Ella Dress” with a romantic Lips and Roses Print from Mary Blair.

"Jenny Skirt" with Commuters Print from Mary Blair.

“Jenny Skirt” with Commuters Print from Mary Blair.

The Magic of Mary Blair Collection” by Pin Up Girl Clothing is available in store now.

5 thoughts on “Retro Loves…Mary Blair

  1. Lovely post! I love the magic of Mary Blair! That dress is such a beauty! Mary sure was talented when it comes to creative perspectives on animation and art. Fashion is art, and her prints are beautiful.

    What a great post! Thanks for sharing.

    I’m a fashion blogger too! Check me out at thepreppursuit.com

    Follow on Bloglovin The Prep Pursuit

    Instagram @ThePrepPursuit

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