Ralph Lauren, the quintessential all-American design king has once again designed team USA's opening and closing ceremony looks for the Olympics and with the closing ceremony taking place later today what better time to feature sketches from the Ralph Lauren team of what we can expect to see the athletes wearing. If you've been reading Fabulous Doodles a while you know I'm a huge fan of Ralph Lauren fashion illustrations, and have featured them numerous times. The Olympic illustrations, especially the men shown here, are drawn strong and statuesque with beautiful movement and life to sketches. The color rendering is super saturated, almost like a digital illustration but I'm pretty sure they were illustrated traditionally on paper, as is standard procedure for the house of RL. I love the simplified stylized shadows throughout the skin and garments and am impressed with how many details are in each sketch, down to the intricate design of the boatshoes, the braided bracelets and tiny logos throughout the garments. All without making the illustrations appear overworked or fussy.
Shown above are the sketches from the opening night ceremony. Again showing only the men for two reasons; as odd as it is they resonate more with me than the women's this time around. And since this year they styled the men and women in identical uniforms, as opposed to years past where the women have had more feminine looks with skirts and dresses, you're not missing any opposing or complimentary designs. Its rare that I share male illustrations here but these are so well done I couldn't resist. I'll certainly be using these beautiful renderings for future reference for my own male illustrations, which I have to admit I find challenging.
I'm looking forward to tuning in tonight for the Rio Olympics closing ceremonies to see these sketches truly come to life on the athletes of team USA!
Recently I sketched another Brooks Brothers event, this time live-sketching custom fashion illustrations of party guests at their Madison Avenue flagship here in New York. The event was a charity cocktail shopping party, and custom illustrations were given to guests as gifts with purchase. A few of the woman at the event were so excited about their new Brooks Brothers x Zac Posen designed buys that they chose to be drawn in them which was a unique aspect to this event. Some women even went back to the fitting rooms to model their new frocks for me to sketch!
It was a really fun night working with the Brooks Brothers team again live-sketching, mingling with wonderful women, raising money for those in need.
Last week I flew down to Miami to live sketch custom fashion illustrations at a private party for Harry Winston. The intimate affair was held in their new boutique in Miami's Design District. I live-sketched guests who upon entering were draped in diamonds from the House of Harry Winston's new Sparkling Cluster collection.
In addition to drawing custom fashion illustrations the team from Harry Winston asked if I could pre-sketch an organic champagne bubble design beforehand to be pre-printed on the paper along with their embossed logo (shown above left). They also sent the Glamsquad to my hotel for party primping! I travel often for work events and it was such a treat to have my hair and makeup done right in my room (above middle photo) instead of trekking to a salon. Traveling to Miami for this fancy fete was wonderful and I'm honored to have been a part of it and work with such an iconic brand.
Last week I worked with Burberry again, this time at their flagship Manhattan store. It was a unique job, and a slight departure from my typical custom fashion illustrations I often do at client events. I was asked to do calligraphy, writing personalized notecards as a gift with purchase. It was Mother's Day weekend and Burberry hosted their VIP clients, so needless to say most of the sales were gifts for moms and customers were excited to be offered this special extra touch.
Between clients I painted little fashion silhouettes (as I often do! Tiny doodles like these have been adorning my notebooks for ages) using white calligraphy ink atop textured tan and gold embossed Burberry notecards (shown below.) After spotting them on my desk a few customers asked if I could add one to their cards as well, which I was happy to do.
It was a fun two days working with Burberry again. As a life-long artist and eternal art student I truly love using my hands and continually experimenting with different mediums. And of corse its even better when I get to do it with such a renowned luxury brand as Burberry!
Dove is a brand I've proudly used for as long as I can remember so I was excited when they asked me to live-sketch their Love Your Hair event this week. This event was kicking off their campaign to empower women to love their hair so I decided for very first time at a live-sketching event to wear my natural curls! This may not seam like a big deal but I was genuinely nervous about it and its turns out I'm not the only one who has been conditioned to feel this way about their hair. At the event there was a discussion panel of influencers and every single woman spoke about the pressure to straighten, smooth, cut or tame her hair to be "professional" or socially acceptable. After listening to the discussion, which immediately put me at ease with my choice to go naturally curly, the panels lone male influencer celebrity hairstylist Mark Townsend came right up to me to say he was eyeing my gorgeous curls throughout the whole talk and had to know how I achieved them! I know Dove is all about making a woman feel good in their own skin but this was crazy, I was on cloud nine.
Since the event was about loving your hair the team at Dove asked me for sketch concepts that truly focused on hair. I presented a few ideas and the one we agreed upon was to color and finish the hair in the illustration only. I still drew full fashion illustrations of each guests look for the day but only in pencil, then rendered the hair and only the hair in color. Another unique element to this event and these custom illustrations was that I also included the New York skyline as a background to reflect the event which was in the penthouse suite atop Nomo Soho with sweeping views of the city. To make the illustrations consistent, and in the interest of saving time, as I have to move very quickly when live-sketching parties, I printed and cut-out the skyline and made myself a stencil (shown above with the actual city skyline behind it.) Once I finished each fashion illustration I placed the stencil over it and added a contour of the skyline. The sketches came out great and both the guests and the Dove team were thrilled with them. Everyone loved not only their hair, but their hair sketches as well!
Last week I had the pleasure of spending my day custom sketching for Jonathan Adler and Fisher Price at New York's Museum of Arts and Design for a press preview event debuting their exciting collaboration of high contrast, high style baby gear. Since the collection is graphic and bold they requested I paint simplified monocromatic profile portraits. It was slightly different from my typical fashion illustration sketching event but it was success and everyone seemed to truly love their custom illustrations.
It was great to spend one on one time chatting with and sketching Jonathan. I've actually been a fan of his work since he opened his very first shop down in Soho in 1998. My dad is a potter so I grew up around potters wheels, kilns, and a house full to the brim of handmade pottery. I've also been collecting Jonathan's pieces for years and have loved seeing him grow the company to include all forms of home decor, furniture, lighting, fashion accessories and now baby gear (not that I have a use for this one just yet!)
Spending the day illustrating atop a museum I've frequented for years was also pretty incredible. If only my studio desk had views like this! And although I realize its a stretch I'm thinking now I can say that like my cousin, renowned sculptress Louise Nevelson, maybe I could say my work has been in MAD!? All kidding aside though it was a great event to live-sketch and the collection (which I can't share photo's of just yet) is stunning. One of the editors I sketched said the Jonathan Adler x Fisher Price collab is going to be true a game changer within the baby market.