Fashion Week Highlights

For years I've had the pleasure of participating in one way or another in New York Fashion Week. (Ever since my college days when I worked as volunteer with my bff setting up shows and dressing models backstage.) Since then I usually attend a show, party and/or event here and there. This season however, for the fall 2012 collections, I was honored to be invited to a handful of events and was even hired to create some illustrations. It was a fabulous fashion-filled week and although I'm a little late here I wanted to share some my highlights.
Fashion week began for me at a tweet-up in the Amex Skybox with the lovely Samantha Yanks, Editor in Chief of Gotham and Hamptons Magazine. Its always a treat to speak with editors and hear what they're excited about but especially so when its one so in tune with New York, and who also has an insanely impressive resume. Samantha previously worked for Vogue and O Magazine, so she's a fellow former Hearst girl. I also learned that she is a fashion illustration enthusiast. Samantha kindly shared a instagram snapshot of my cards with her followers while we gabbed about our obsession with Pinterest.
Immediately after the Skybox I headed downstairs in the tents (yes, fashion week tents are large enough to have a stairs and a second floor viewing lounge) to attend what was possibly one of the best fashion week parties I've ever gone to, "Fashion Night In" sponsored by Mercedes-Benz and P.S. I made this. Why was this party so fantastic you may ask? At first glance it seemed like any other fashion party with cocktails and horderves abound and countless well dressed fashion-folk. But then, in the center of the space was a huge crafting table! And what did we get to craft with, actual Mercedes leather that's normally used to upholster cars!
I was in fashion-diy-heaven sipping champagne while punching studs into leather. I made a collar necklace of leather and tulle, a studded wrap bracelet, and even took some leather home to make tassel keychains for my bags (shown above.) Then after my crafting bliss I got to meet the one and only Jonathan Adler! My dad is an avid potter, and I've been a huge fan of Jonathan's since he opened his first store in 1998. I was so excited to finally meet him, have a little chat and take a photo (above) with him. (Jonathan chose my Eva sketch.)
Another exciting aspect to this soiree was the coat check, it was a "Barbie's Dream Closet" sponsored coat check, which got me even more excited for my Barbie sketches to make their appearance the next day at Barbie's Dream Closet event. The Fashion Night In party was simply wonderful and the icing on the cake was the fantastic swag bag I got to leave with, with a Naeem Kahn silk scarf and 8 new bottles of Essie nail polish created just for NYFW. (Gotta love a great swag bag!)
The next afternoon was my most personally exciting NYFW event because my sketches were displayed for Barbie's Dream Closet at Lincoln Center. (Which I already gushed about and shared more pictures in a previous post.) What I didn't mention, was that aside from the Barbie "headshots" they also had me draw Barbie hands for their manicure bar that featured the different mani options that editors, celebs, and VIP guests such as Nigel Barker (above) and their little girls could choose from, like a Barbie a glitter french mani or a Barbie pink ombre manicure.
The following day I headed back to Lincoln Center bright at early for the 8AM Nicole Ferrari show. Between shows while strolling around the tents and I ended up bumping into an old friend (below) whom I interned with at Saturday Night Live a million years ago, as well as Robert Verdi, my very first boss post college. After some catching up it was time for Vera Wang!
Like Barbie, the Vera Wang show was another star-studded event, Renee Zellweger and Leighton Meester were directly across the runway from me. Also front row was Anna Wontour, Oscar nominee Viola Davis, and Maria Sharapova. Vera showed a lovely collection of gauzy separates in neutral tones with pops of orange and ice blue. I've been searching for some Vera sketches from the collection to share, but it seems like Vera Wang gang hasn't released any.
Later that afternoon I stopped by the Accessories Council Accessory Lounge to support my friend, publicist and Moxie tastemaker, Jono. I chowed down on these adorable cupcakes made by Dana Herbert, TLC's Next Great Baker Winner, and ended up reconnecting with another old friend, "Curvy Girl" Patty Hughes. Needless to say it was a very eventful NYFW day.
The last highlight of my fashion week was the Levi's fashion show. This one was off-site, down in Soho loft, which was a nice change of scenery. The event opened with a Levi's themed art installation followed by the runway show. It was a fun show with a very downtown retro vibe. After the show I once again bumped into Patty which was a great surprise. We were having such a nice time mingling and gabbing that we decided to hit up C Wonder (my new favorite store, thank you Patty!) in lieu of rushing uptown for the next show. I mean there will always be another show and another fashion week right?

New Print: Zoey

I've added a new fashion illustration print to my Brooklit Etsy shop. Meet Zoey. Originally I sketched her just over a year ago for a Harper's Bazaar feature on my illustrations, and even though another illustration was chosen I always liked her and have since used her on many of my custom office supplies. (Such as post-its, business cards, and mailing labels.)
So alas, I have given her a name, created a listing her for her on Etsy and am sharing her with you. Hope you like her! (FYI, I plan to list my custom post-its and notepads in the shop soon as well.)

Whitney Houston

"It's amazing how people we've never met can touch our lives so much, how their work can become bookmarks for definitive moments in our lives and how we can truly love them from afar." My friend, designer Aaron Potts posted this a few days ago on Facebook in reference to the death of Whitney Houston and I couldn't agree more.
Today Whitney Houston is being laid to rest and I can't begin to explain how devastatingly sad I am. Whitney's The Greatest Love Of All was my very first cassette, The Bodyguard was my first CD, and for my college application to FIT I designed a concert wardrobe for her as my fashion design art test.
I would have loved to share my Whitney sketches with you, however they are packed away in storage with the rest of my college work, so better yet I'm sharing the work of my friend, Aaron Potts. Aaron, in collaboration with Kaufman Franco, sketched many gowns for Whitney that she and her stylists then chose from.

Whitney, I will always love you.

Fashion Week: Designer Sketches {Fall 2012}

(BGBG and Rachel Roy)
Today was the last day of the shows for the fall 2012 New York collections so what better day than today to post some of my favorite designer fashion illustrations from this season. It always interests me to pool different designers sketches and see their take on illustrating.
(Rebecca Minkoff, Tibi, Chris Benz)
Although my personal style of illustrating tends to be very detailed and fully rendered I absolutely love the sketchy quality of the illustrations from designers Rachel Roy and Rebecca Minkoff. And the style of the light weight pen sketches from both Tibi and Chris Benz (shown above) are such a fun and whimsical take on illustration.
(James Coviello, Elie Tahari and NHAM)
This James Coviello illustration (above left) displays such great fabric rendering and its always nice to see some bright colors incorporated into a fall palette. And I love that the NAHM sketch (above right) combines two different rendering techniques, simple pencil sketching for the body, and a markered technique for the clothing. Its such a striking combination, I may even try it out myself soon.
(Tracy Reese, Nicole Miller and DKNY)
Last but certainly not least is a fun profile illustration from Tracy Resse which appears be a computer generated illustration. (Which brings back haunting memories of FIT and CAD classes! I'm a pencil-to-paper kind of girl.) The chic 70's inspired girl in the middle is from one of my best friends Renaldo Barnette, for Nicole Miller's fall collection. It always amazes me how he can channel so much attitude and energy without showing the face or eyes, like in this fabulous illustration. And lastly is a "doodlesque" loose sketch from DKNY.

I'm working on a post wrapping my fashion week excursions since last weekend's Barbie excitement but in the mean time I hope you enjoy these girls. Which is your favorite and why?

(Designer illustrations from Pantone and Stylist)

Belts, Bags, Black & White

Not long ago I was asked to create an assortment of fashion illustrations as well as consult on the branding and design esthetic for an accessory company called Bali Belts Studio. I created eight illustrations of fashion forward girls all sporting their belts while donned in classic black and white. Having a background in brand development, I advised that keeping the color story simple will prevent the sketches from becoming dated and will be relatable to multiple markets.
My design idea's were implemented and my sketches featuring the companies handbags and belts were used as decor in their NYC showroom, as well as within trade show booth displays at The Accessories Show in New York, and Magic in Vegas.

Barbie at New York Fashion Week

This weekend I had a major highlight in my fashion illustration career, I was commissioned by the one and only Barbie to create sketches for "Barbie: The Dream Closet" at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week! If that's not a dream job as an illustrator, I don't know what is. Being approached by of those powerhouses alone would have been a thrill, but both Barbie and New York Fashion Week, its just beyond. (Apparently in my excitement I've lost the ability to be articulate here.)
I should explain that I am a self professed Barbie girl. I played with Barbie dolls throughout my childhood, had the dream house, the Ferrari, and as many cloths as I could get my hands on. (Peaches'n Cream Barbie was my favorite fyi.) As a sophomore in high school I was assigned in art class to take an object from childhood and create and abstract painting inspired by it. What did I choose of corse, Barbie. Anyone who attended my high school may remember this painting because it actually hung in the hall beside the main office for two and half years until I graduated. Barbie made an appearance again in my life when I earned my college degree in Fashion Design from FIT. My graduation cake had an actual Barbie in it with a cake skirt! So needless to say I'm certainly a Barbie girl and you can understand why this is such a thrill.

Back to the project here, for Fashion Week Barbie opened up her "Dream Closet" for a series of parties and events celebrating her iconic fashion history. Lincoln Center's David Rubinstein Atrium acted as home to Barbie's Dream Closet featuring real "live" walking and talking Barbie dolls decked out in clothing from designers such as Alexander McQueen and Oscar de la Renta. There were boudoirs where guests could virtually try on over 50 Barbie looks, both contemporary and historical, stations to sit and design your own Barbie fashions, and last but not least there were Barbie inspired make-overs so top editors, celebrities, and guests could get doll'd up! This is where my fashion illustrations came into play.

I was hired to sketch Barbie hairstyles inspired by a selection of the most classic Barbies, some of which I even had as a girl. When guests sat to have their hair worked on by the Blo Bar geniuses, they referred to my Barbie illustrations to choose their "do" of bouncy curls, colorful hair extensions, feathers or even glitter sprayed braids.
It was a star studded Fashion Week event where top editors and celebrities including Kelly Rutherford (shown below), Brooke Shields, Nigel Barker, and Kelly Bensimon were invited with their little girls to take part in the Barbie fabulousness.
As I worked on this project I literally sat at my desk drawing with a huge grin on my face. How many people get to study images of Malibu Barbie and Barbie and the Rockers for their jobs? I mean really pinch me, just another day in the office right!?! Hopefully its the first of many dream come true projects.
For more from this event you can check out my Facebook Fan Page albums of event photo's and other commissions I've worked on recently. And later in the week I'll be sharing a few more of my illustrations for Barbie: Dream Closet.