Custom Bridal Illustration: Emily

Another summer weekend has come and gone and with it another custom bridal illustration is mailed out to a bride. This one is Emily who happens to be a previous client actually. (No, its not her second wedding!) I previously worked with Emily years ago on seven custom Marie Antoinette inspired illustrations for her website, Material Girls.
Emily sent over a entire online album (from her photographer Taylor Lord Photography) of her bridal session photo shoot. It was the ideal way for me to work on a custom bridal illustration. It also didn't hurt that Emily is gorgeous and her stunning Lazaro dress wasn't too shabby either. Its often a bit of challenge to illustrate from the photos clients send over. They can be too small, poorly lit, and rarely have close up shots of the bride and the dress details. This was not the case here though as you can see from these lovely photos.
It was a joy to work with Emily again and I hope she likes her bridal illustration as much as I do! For your own custom bridal illustration or to give one as a gift, you can check out the custom listings in my Etsy bridal shop, Brooklit Bride.
The image above is from Wisteria, I simply photoshopped my illustration of Emily on in there. Emily does plan on custom framing the artwork though and I can't wait to see a photo of it and add it to my client photo album.

Back to Basics

Lately I've felt I needed a little jolt in the creativity department and these drawings may be it. I dusted off my sketchbook and am really excited to share my latest sketches. These are not the usual fashion illustrations I share here on Fabulous Doodles but they're a well needed breath of fresh air for me and my Etsy shop, Brooklit. I haven't drawn like this years and its such a nice thing to revisit.
It started about a few weeks ago when I decided to dig out my watercolors and paint some little mermaids for my bathroom (shown below). Then continuing my obsession with Pinterest, I found some fantastic photos, like this beautiful ballerina (above,) that inspired me to start drawing again. I used to be so opposed to drawing from a picture, that it wasn't really drawing if you were working off a 2D image. (I guess I've gotten over that one since building my custom bridal illustration business!)
Drawing, shading, and texturizing my subject with only pencil and using brushes and paints again has been like visiting an old friend I haven't seen in a decade. (I feel like I sound crazy, I realize this, but its true!)
So for the summer I've decided to keep this sketching momentum going by adding these sketches, starting with Brooklyn Ballerina to my etsy shop available as $6 mini prints. I think this will be a nice little summer project to reinvigorate me and the shop. Are you trying anything new for summer?

Brooklit Bride: New Bride Prints

Meet the three lovely brides that have just been added to my Etsy bridal illustration shop, Brooklit Bride. These brides are not all new, but its the first time I've made them available for purchase.
First up is the polished and poised Michaela. She's in a strapless gown with a pleated bodice, large back bow, and tulip pleated long skirt. I drew Michaela a while back and included her in my assorted business cards. She continues to be a favorite amongst people I share my cards with, so I thought it was about time I added her to Brooklit Bride. I think something about her simplicity channels Audrey Hepburn. The dress is inspired by a Rosa Clara gown.
The next bridal illustration named Sophia, is fresh off my sketchbook. (Just drew her last night actually.) I designed her dress with a pretty scallop trim to accent the simple princess ball-gown dress silhouette.
The last bride here is not new to you, my Fabulous Doodles readers, but she's new to the shop. I created her in a bit of hurry for a feature on Harper's Bazaar's site by combining two existing brides. Because it was such a thrill to be involved with Haper's Bazaar and she was the illustration chosen by them to represent my work, I've named her Harper. Her gown has a lace overlay and is embellished with dozens of delicate tiny rosettes.

(Brides; Brooke Hagel, Frames; Wisteria and Martha Stewart, Wallpaper; Graham & Brown)


Its not often that an exhibition blows my mind and takes me on an emotional rollercoaster, but thats what happened last week when my friend Sarah and I finally stuck out the long line and made our way into The Metropolitan Museum of Art's exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.
"You've got to know the rules to break them. That's what I'm here for, to demolish the rules but keep the tradition." -Alexander McQueen

This very month fifteen years ago (when I was 15) I enrolled in a summer program at a art university. It was then that I was introduced to the work of McQueen by my fashion professor who besides never having taught a class before, happened to be a close friend of McQueens since childhood. He described helping Lee (Alexander was his middle name) build his first collection in a bare bones flat where they had to take the doors down and turn them into tables to have sufficient work surfaces. His stories stayed with me and I'd often think of them when fashion week rolled around and I'd check out McQueen's latest collection.
McQueen was brilliant and his collections were always dramatic and pushed the envelope. One of the joys of this exhibit was walking through with Sarah (one of my bffs and fellow FIT fashion design alum) and pointing out to one another the pieces we remember from past collections and getting closer looks at all the intricacy and attention to detail within each piece.
Highlights of the exhibition for me include:
-The glass casket in the Romantic Gothic room featuring McQueen's Angels and Demons. This gold gilded, feathered, and engineered printed collection showed his passion for art history.

-Also in the Romantic Gothic room, the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious silk parachute coat inspired by Tim Burton with a small fan hidden in the floor blowing it open.

-The Cabinet of Curiosities room, with cubbies containing incredible accessories from his collections such as the Chinese Garden cork head piece by Phillip Treacy Feith, beautiful bodices of wood or molded leather and the splatter paint dress (shown atop this post) where above the dress you could watch video footage from the 1999 show where Shalom Harlow came out in a white dress and she stood on a rotating platform as robots aggressively spray painted her.

-The Romantic Exoticism room with its mirrored walls and rotating mannequins that I later learned was designed to simulate a jewelry box.

-The disturbing yet beautiful wallpaper made from McQueen drawings that was blown up and repeated as you walked into the Romantic Naturalism room.

-The hologram. This little hologram that you have to bend down to watch literally took my breath away. It starts as a little blue/white smokey light and becomes Kate Moss in and "Oyster" dress of hundreds of layers of raw edged silk organza, spinning and moving as the music from Schindler's List plays. There are no words to describe how beautiful this was. Then once the hologram show is finished you can admire the actual dress (shown below) as you walk into the next room.
This exhibit has been extended (for the second time) to August 7th. If you're in NYC or have plans of visiting, make the trip on over to The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The line is long and the exhibit will most likely be packed, but its hands down one of the best exhibitions I've ever seen. The rooms are transformed floor to ceiling and your taken on a journey of the genius that was Lee Alexander McQueen.

All images from The Metropolitan Museum of Art.