A certain latitude

Fashion house Louis Vuitton chose Irish artist Blaise Drummond to illustrate the Arctic for the newest volume in their Travel Book Collection

When Louis Vuitton contacted the Galerie Looevenbruck in Paris asking if Blaise Drummond would be interested in what he now refers to as his “Arctic adventure”, it wasn’t the first time he had had a professional tête à tête with the luxury travel brand. In his younger years, having just graduated from college, Drummond was working for an interior landscaping company in Boston called City Gardens, and had once by chance obtained a contract to look after the plants in the Louis Vuitton store in the city’s Copley Place. “I wouldn’t be much of a fashionista, but I’d wander around and see all the stuff in the store. That was the first time I’d ever heard of Louis Vuitton and I probably didn’t have many encounters with them in between,” Drummond laughs.
Drummond’s delicately beautiful drawings for Louis Vuitton are the result of a three-week trip to the Arctic at the end of June last summer, where he sailed around Spitsbergen, an island in the Arctic circle above Norway, before stopping off at Iceland and Greenland. Armed with a couple of cameras in his pocket, Drummond returned to his studio in Ballymahon, Longford and began to extract which parts his illustrations would cover. “I looked mostly at the human settlement and the little quiet bits of wildlife that were there; the birds, the small plants and obviously the larger landscape of mountains, rocks, stones and icy things. Those things really caught my eye.”
Born to Irish parents in Liverpool, Drummond now works from his studio at his home in an old farmhouse in the countryside. Originally a cattle or turf shed, the studio was converted by an architect friend and filled with windows with views of a chin-level vegetable garden. “You look out these little windows and see people’s feet running by or you’re looking out at the carrot tops coming, which is kind of sweet.”

This story appears in the May issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in our next issue, out Thursday June 4

This Month I’m wearing ...

Northern-Irish born fashion and lifestyle designer Rae Feather, who launched her eponymous label just 18 months ago, is wearing ...

“Current Elliot boyfriend jeans, a jacket and blouse from my own collection and Stuart Weitzman sandals. Rae Feather is a considered collection of ageless, pared-back pieces in great fabrics at really competitive prices. The clothes I design can be worn in the office and many pieces will take you through to the evening. I put a great deal of emphasis on fabrics and shapes that do not cling to the body, creating elegant silhouettes that deliver comfort at the same time. I have just launched my first beach collection: I love the column dress – it’s great for the beach and the evening. I have always been a fan of Donna Karan, I admire her ability to make every woman, irrespective of their height or weight, feel confident. I also love Helmut Lang for great shapes and good quality jersey and cottons. My office is a converted barn in the middle of the English countryside so I dress very casually at work. I’m rarely seen without a scarf – I loathe being cold. If I am going to London I will wear something that takes me from day to evening. At weekends, I like boyfriend jeans and a cashmere sweater. I have just invested in a Sophie Anderson woven clutch which I will use all summer long. I love to shop. Online, both Net-a-Porter and Matches are excellent. I also rate  Club Monaco and have recently found a great new label called Jac and Jack (www.jacandjack.com). My style tip? Accessorise well. It is worth spending a little but more on a great scarf or necklace. I never take off my vintage Rolex (with a navy face). Right now, I am in Quinta do Lago in Portugal where my sister, interior designer Helen Turkington and I have just opened a lifestyle shop.” www.raefeather.com.

This story appears in the May issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in our next issue, out Thursday June 4