Style Icons: Mary Blair

June 21, 2018

Style Icons: Mary Blair

I can't remember exactly when I found out who Mary Blair was, but I remember my jaw dropped and stayed down for a while.
All of her work is so gorgeous and colorful and lively—I was immediately hooked!
Cinderella and her Prince waltzing through magical moonlight in a mesmerizing piece of art by Mary Blair
Even before I knew who she was, I was a fan of Mary Blair. Cinderella
and Alice in Wonderland were among my favorite VHS tapes that I watched on a nearly daily basis.
Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers, my favorite piece by Mary Blair
Mary Blair was a conceptual artist at Walt Disney Studios in the 1940's and 50's. After she resigned from Walt Disney, she went on to become a freelance graphic designer and illustrator. If you aren't familiar with her work with the Disney studios, you may recognize her art from some of the Little Golden Books that she illustrated.
I Can Fly a Little Golden Book illustrated by Mary Blair
Mary worked with Disney once more, on what was perhaps her most well known work, on the "It's A Small World" attraction for the 1964 World's Fair.
Mary Blair at work on It's A Small World
No matter how you feel about the song, there is no denying that the ride and spectacle is an iconic experience.
It's A Small World by Mary Blair
Coco's ABSOLUTELY favorite ride at Walt Disney World, It's A Small World!
 It may seem odd, but the colors that make me think of Mary most are white and gold, which are representative of the simplistic but impactful entrance to It's A Small World and the heroine motifs of the movies she worked on.
Mary Blair is always an inspiration to us, we couldn't pass on these pieces from Mishky because they immediately brought It's A Small World to mind! As much inspiration as Mary drew from South and Central America during the Good Will Tour, we hope she would like them, too. xo Coco

To me, the true beauty of Mary's talent is the way in which she knew how
to use color, plus when to use it and why. She was always a talented
watercolorist even before working on timeless films with Disney. She
didn't throw shades around willy-nilly; her use was always purposeful. She could evoke emotion just by changing the hue of a picture: truly amazing!
Artwork by Mary Blair

I try to channel Mary's eye for color in my life. From shopping for
clothes and picking out accessories to how I decorate my home, and obviously, how I search for unique pieces for  Coco and Duckie, I am always asking
myself, what would Mary love?

Coco styling her favorite skirt from Pinup Girl Clothing, the Mary Blair Lips and Roses Bella!
Mary's work reminds and inspires me to have fun and to not be afraid to be myself. Mary's style was very different for the Disney Animators. They resisted her bold eye at first, preferring to stay in comfortable and familiar territory. When you find yourself questioning whether or not you should express your own, unique vibes,
just remember: we need all the Mary Blairs in the world that we can get. People with a definite style that won't compromise it to make others feel better make their worlds a better place—and that's you!
xo,
Coco
Mary Blair and Walt Disney riding a bicycle
Bonus fun fact: Mary and I share a birthday!! So you can imagine that I
take that much more confidence in accessing my inner Mary Blair.

 




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