What I've learned about fashion and life by David Downton

David Downton is arguably one of the most iconic fashion artists of all time. His romantic couture illustrations have graced covers of Vogue and Vanity Fair and his portraits have beautifully captured the elegance of some of the world's most celebrated women such as Dita Von Teese, Erin O'Connor and Cate Blanchett.

With his new book Portraits of the World's Most Stylish Women launching in London today, David, who created the stunning fashion and beauty advertising for Fenwick of Bond Street, caught up with The Daily Muse to share the five most important lessons he's learned over the years - not only about fashion, but about life itself.

Kristin Scott Thomas, 2014

"Fashion isn't life. Or death. It is a great big wonderful gaudy game that puts more smiles on more faces on more Saturday afternoons than The World Cup and the Superbowl combined."

Carolina Herrera, 2012

"There is artistry in fashion at its highest level – think Christian Lacroix couture – that can transport even the hardest hearted cynic."

Lily Cole

"To quote Dame Edna, If you can't laugh at yourself you might be missing the joke of the century."

Sarah Jessica Parker, 2011

"If you find yourself in the Front Row, revel in it. You are on stage. Next season you may be consigned to the shadowy wastes of row three and beyond (the wings)."

Michelle Dockery, 2013

"Fashion has given me an education, allowed me to travel and to meet my heroes and heroines across the drawing board. Of course there is an AB FAB element to it, but would we have it any other way?"

Find out what Downton considers to be the five highlights of his career in his 2014 interview with The Daily Muse.

By Alison Millington