Illustrating Fashion: Concept to Creation

Steven Stipelman has done it again with the latest edition of his book Illustrating Fashion: Concept to Creation (3rd Edition). Stipelman's book is an excellent resource for anyone, from the aspiring student to the experienced and working fashion illustrator. The book includes step-by-step tutorials on how to draw everything from the basic fashion figure, hands, feet, and faces to clothing details like fur cuffs, tweed, lace and tulle.
In one of my very first posts on Fabulous Doodles I shared the first edition (here), as its been a staple on my bookshelves since college. In this latest edition Stipelman has updated it by redrawing more than 1,000 full color illustrations and referencing designer garments and time periods for accurate historical references.
Illustrating Fashion Concept to Creation (3rd Edition) is very easy to navigate through and use as a reference. Its divided into five main sections:
  • Getting Started: Supplies, lines, etc.
  • The Fashion Figure: Hands, feet, shaping the body, gesture and balance line.
  • The Fashion Details: Silhouettes, necklines, drapery and bias, tailored clothing and accessories.
  • Rendering: Stripes, plaids, knits and other intricate rendering techniques.
  • Extras: Walking figures, menswear, children, flats.
Stipelman is an incredible teacher and seasoned fashion illustrator, so to sit in a classroom and watch him sketch was a privelage. (I was lucky enough to have Stipleman as my professor for four consecutive semesters!) Now you can observe and learn form him as well, because with this book comes a dvd of demonstrations by Stipelman! Watching my professor and friend drawing made me feel like I was 19 again, gathered around his desk with other FIT students mezmorized by his illustrating.
This book is used as a textbook for all of FIT's fashion design students and is a splurge worthy necessity for any fashion illustrator. You can check it out, along with a few of my other book recommendations here, in my Amazon shop.

Brooklit Bride Grand Opening!

Today I'm excited to announce the launch of my new Etsy shop, Brooklit Bride! Almost three years ago I launched Brooklit, an Etsy shop of my fashion illustration prints and products. The most popular listing and custom request has been bridal illustrations, where I create custom fashion illustrations inspired by brides actual photos (as shown below.)
So I've decided to expand on this idea, and open a "spin-off" shop that offers my custom designs as well as new original bride fashion illustration prints.
Brooklit Bride currently includes prints, cards, bookmarks, gift tags, and custom bridal sketches. I hope you like the new shop and make sure to check out the custom listings. (They all have different photo-to-sketch examples!)
I have more products I'm excited about in the works, so check back with Brooklit Bride soon. And after you take a peek at the new shop, I'd love to hear your feedback, so comments are welcome!

Custom Bridal Illustrations: Ball Gowns

The ball gown silhouette has always been a favorite of mine, and its certainly a favorite of my bridal clients. The past few months I've been steadily busy sketching custom bridal illustrations. Its been a while since I shared any brides here so I figured I'd start sharing again with some of my recent "ball gown brides."
The beautiful ruffle gown (shown above) is by Oscar de la Renta. Its such a extraordinary and fun gown, truly like nothing I've had to illustrate before. I'm really happy with how the illustration turned out. (Hopefully the bride likes it too!?! The illustration is a surprise gift from her friend, so I didn't actually work with the bride on this one.)
This next gown had a lovely lace pattern throughout the bodice and skirt, but its the intricately detailed scalloped hem that really makes the illustration unique to me.
Last but certainly not least is this opulent and full ball gown. There were a lot of intricate details I had to pay attention to here: a beaded underskirt, lace applique and embroidery with crystal beading, diamond jewelry and orchids not only in the bouquet, but in her hair as well!

Costume Design: Black Swan

It's always a thrill to find great costume illustrations, and these sketches from fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte for Black Swan do not disappoint! They have a soft and whimsical stylized look, which is synonymous with the look of their illustrations for Rodarte, while still serving as readable working sketches.
The designing sisters were challenged with making clothes that were dramatic and character appropriate while also being ballet-friendly and completely wearable.
The wardrobe, the characters and the setting are all so intriguing to me. I also absolutely love illustrating ballerinas so maybe I'll take a stab at rendering the main characters after I see the film.
Embarrassingly enough I have not actually seen Black Swan yet, I usually steer clear of scary movies, but I may have to suck it up just to see these costumes in action.

New Years Eve Dream

(Bob Mackie and David Downton)
Happy New Year! Last night I enjoyed a casual evening with a small group of friends on the upper east side. It was great and I love my friends to death but for years and years, ever since watching that final scene in When Harry Met Sally, I can't help but wish that just one New Years I could attend a fancy black-tie New Years Eve soirée.
(Versace and Marchesa)
Seeing all the tuxedo's and sequins out on street last night got me wondering what I would wear (or design!) In addition to my Carrie illustration (shown below) which I think could be a great "New Years on the town" look, I pulled a few illustrations here that could fit the imaginary bill.
(Michael Kors and Brooke Hagel)
Beading and sequins, dramatic gowns of black or crisp "new" whites, and certainly yards of sleek and sultry glamour. There you have any and all of the elements for my dream New Years Eve black-tie ensemble.
(Ralph Lauren and Robert Best for Barbie)
Happy 2011 everyone! Cheers to the fabulous events this year holds and the many exciting evenings of fashion.