Holiday Commission

Tonight on my way home from Chinese and a movie with grandma I passed by a Barney's Co-op store. I noticed their holiday windows resembled the current E-Drop Off windows (shown here) which are entirely comprised of my illustrations! I have yet to share them, so I figured better late than never, right?
The first time I was commissioned to illustrate for them (here) the designs were completely item focused to coincide with the different tabs of their site. For this round of illustrations I was asked to draw two "winter chic" girls, one "holiday party girl" with a banner, a plush holiday garland with designer logo ornaments and a truly unique snowflake comprised of the E-Drop Off logo (or seven of them actually!)
It's so cool to see my illustrations blown up so large, I wish I could see them in person. Unfortunately I don't have plans to hit Chicago anytime soon, so these photo's from the E-Drop crew are going to have to suffice. I hope everyone has a happy and fabulously chic holiday season! To see more of my work for E-Drop Off you can check out their website.

Bridal Illustrations: Kate Middleton

(Vera Wang and Jason Wu)
Truly iconic wedding dresses rarely come along and when they do they create a tsunami of change in the industry. Kate Middleton's wedding dress has the potential to be the gown of the century, now the question is who will design it?
(Prabal Gurung)
Since first learning of the royal wedding announcement I've been anticipating the dress and the designer illustrations that will appear vying for the chance to be "the one" Kate choses. Thankfully Women's Wear Daily did all the work and asked designers to share what they had in mind for the future Princess. Here are a few of my favorites, both for the dress design and the fashion illustration.
(Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli for Valentino)
Its so interesting to me to see designer illustrations. Some are so detailed and "readable" (like this Valentino) and others are super stylized (like the Badgley Mischka or Chado Ralph Rucci).
(Badgley Mischka and JCrew)
I suppose both have their purpose and it depends on the goal of the sketch for each designer. Is it to sell the dress and make the design completely understandable or is it simply used as a marketing tool to expand the brand, its esthetic, and to give the gist of their vision?
(Chado Ralph Rucci)
My prediction for this royal-wedding dress is it will be a departure from the strapless gowns that have become so common. I imagine Kate will look sophisticated and beautiful while being modestly covered in intricate details like freshwater pearl embroidery (as seen on the Chado gown) or layers of delicate chattily lace. Unlike the over the top opulence of Diana's 1981 gown but not nearly as minimal as Caroline Bisset Kennedy's, which the JCrew design reminds me of. (Although a beautiful interpreted sketch, is a little too minimal for this royal wedding.) I also assume Kate will choose a British designer.
(Nina Ricci and Lela Rose)
Even though you may not be Kate Middleton or marrying Prince William you too can have a custom bridal illustration. (Shameless plug time) You can click here and here to examples of my custom fashion illustrations for brides, as well as reading through some of my past posts labeled bridal. And to to see a slideshow of all the designer sketches WWD released click here.

Costume Illustration: Giorgio Armani

When someone says "Armani" I think of sophisticated Italian tailored suits and sleek evening wear. Recently though, Giorgio Armani has been branching out into jaw dropping theatrical show stoppers, starting with these designs for Lady Gaga. I remember watching Gaga perform at the Grammy's in this heart-shaped leotard (below) and thinking it would be a great look to illustrate. I never actually did it, so I was exited to stumble upon the Armani illustration.
I love they way the beading is rendered! The entire garment glistens. And in the sketch below there are all these little flecks of color that make the drawing appear iridescent. Its great to see a designer fully render a garment. Although stylized illustrations can be fabulous, I think its nice to see all the details and get a full understanding of the design.
Armani has now moved on to design the tour wardrobe for Alicia Keys' "Element of Freedom" European tour. The looks are not as dramatic or avant garde as the Gaga design's but they do have the glitz and glam that you expect from a pop star performance and a design legend.
This last group (below) actually reminds me of the "art test" part of my application to FIT's fashion design department. I had to create a concert wardrobe for one of my favorite singers. I chose Ms. Whitney Houston. She was touring at the time and was wearing only Dolce and Gabbana. (Maybe I'll share it sometime if I can find it.) Anyone apply to FIT lately? I wonder if this is still part of the application and art test.
I love seeing, and collecting, designer fashion illustrations, and its all the more exciting when they're costume designs! Hopefully Armani will set the set the trend here and more designers will share their sketches.

(Random side note: I was once asked to illustrate Alicia, and the sketch was actually given to her. It was years ago, and one of my first red carpet illustrations. My work has improved a lot since then, but you can check it out here.)