New Print: Meet Mae

Meet Mae, the latest print added to my Brooklit Etsy shop. This look was inspired by a uniquely draped Zac Posen dress I spotted on Shopbop. The detail I found most enticing about the dress is gathered rounded godets along a dropped waistline that form a full skirt. Rounding out the godet tops is something I've never seen before and was inspired to incorporate it into one of "my girls."
I named her Mae because it just seemed to fit her soft and coy demeanor. Doesn't she look like she's just standing in a corner daydreaming about her future first love? To purchase a print or to see Mae in more detail, click here for the full listing in my shop.

Italy Textile Design

 Not long ago I was commissioned for a unique project by Italian handbag designer Alexandra de Curtis to sketch an Italy themed print for a textile. The fabric will be used to line the interior of her collection of fine leather tote bags and clutches. In addition to a couple of stylish Italian girl fashion illustrations, her logo and sketches of some of the bags, Alexandra provided me with a list of iconic-ally Italian things that she wanted me to add to the design. In the "swatches" shown here you can see a cup of cappuccino, wine, designer shoes and sunglasses, art, the coliseum and even a Vespa were all drawn in along with key phrases and cities.
Hopefully this is the first of many more countries I will illustrate for Alexandra's line but in the mean time I'm thinking I need to book a trip to Italia asap. (I've been twice before, but Italy is just one of those places that never gets old.) The bags with my illustrations inside are due out next year, I'll keep you posted once they're available. Ciao bella!

Armani Costume Designs for Lady Gaga

Georgio Armani recently released the latest costume design sketches for Lady Gaga's next world tour, and I couldn't wait to share the avant garde illustrations with you here on Fabulous Doodles! In Gaga's first tour, The Monsters Ball (perviously featured here) the wardrobe, which I actually had the thrill of seeing in person when I attended the HBO taped concert at Madison Square Garden, was simply spectacular and this next round of costumes looks like it will not disappoint.
I don't know about you but the sketches really remind me of the work of Bob Mackie. Aside from the obvious reasons that they're whimsical and sparkly costume sketches that are full of personality and attitude, the figure proportions, rendering techniques, and overall look of the artwork is just so similar to the work of Mackie. It really adds to the shock factor for me that they're by Armani, whom I completely have pigeon holed in my brain as being the go-to tailored suit design master.
One idea to take note of, for you aspiring designers, is that the illustrator has used the same figure to build upon for the more than one look. You can clearly see that these sketches, although drastically different from one another in the costume design, are the same exact pose and most likely drawn over the same figure. This is a sketching shortcut when your working to focus yourself on the designs and not get overly involved in sketching new poses and figures for each look.

Thank you to Armani for releasing the sketches and fingers crossed in a few months I'll be thanking Gaga for putting on another incredible show! Anyone have tickets, feel free to send them my way. ;)

Head Shot Illustrations for Polka Dot Bride

Years ago I was commissioned by Ms. Polka Dot Bride to create a "head shot" illustration for her popular site as well as an original bridal fashion illustration of a retro polka dot bride to adorn her office.
Since that first commission, Ms. Polka Dot Bride has expanded her Australian based website and taken on a new staff of bridal bloggers, who of course now need illustrations as well. The girls reached out to me for a new batch of head shot sketches. Each fashion illustration resembles the writer behind the blog in hair color, eyes, hair style and wedding dress silhouette.
I think the bridal bloggers are pretty happy with their new sketches, Ms. Floral recently tweeted that "They all look fantastic. If only my hair stayed that perfect in real life!" This was such a fun little project, as I absolutely love illustrating head shots, making them brides, well that was just the icing on the cake.

Secret Weapons {Part 3}

I am continually asked what tools I use most in my fashion illustrations so I thought it was time for another installment of Secret Weapons. First up, is my sketchbook and paper of choice. This may come as a surprise, being that I make a living as an artist you may think I'd use something fancy and expensive from an art supply store, but I do not. For years I've been using these Barnes & Noble exclusive sketchbooks. The reason I like them so much is that the paper is thick, almost a card stock, and super bright white. The whiteness is important to me because I scan most of my work. They have a spiral binding, which I prefer so the book can lay flat, thick hardcovers that protect the pages well, should I decide to throw in my bag, and the piece de resistance is they have perforated pages for easy tearing out. They also come in different sizes, so I have small ones (above) for quick thumbnail sketches and traveling, and larger ones for my more polished sketches. (Keep in mind however that these are not the best choice for a beginners because, as I mentioned, the paper is thick, and not conducive to tracing. It also soaks up the marker, which means you have to move fast. When I was in college, and learning, my paper of choice was Bienfang marker paper.)
Next I'd like to share the white charcoal pencil. These are fantastic for creating highlights over marker, even better than white pencils because of how dense and opaque they are. If you take a look at my last post about my new print Miriam, you can see that I used a log of the white charcoal pencil to render the large brimmed hat and create texture and highlights within it. I also use it to add shine and highlights to hair in almost all my illustrations.

Lastly is something I absolutely cannot live without when sketching, the amazing kneaded eraser. It picks up everything from the faintest smudge to heavy thick lines. Its pliable and can be molded to easily into a sharp point or stretched out for easily self cleaning and it doesn't leave marks. The kneaded eraser is a must have. (I realize I sound like a infomercial here, but its true!)

For more of my secret weapons you can check out part 1 and part 2 here.

New Brooklit Print: Miriam

Last night I sketched this new fashion illustration for my Etsy shop inspired by a photo I pinned to my "She's A Sketch" board, and I have to say, at the risk of tooting my own horn here, she's one of my favorites. Her monochromatic white ensemble of a long sleeve T and white wide leg pants paired with an oversized black straw sun hat, is my ideal simple casual chic look. Its as though she's sitting peacefully on the beach, looking out at the serene landscape pondering life beneath her fabulous hat.
Because I identify and love this sketch so much, (although my life is no where near as tranquil as the scenario I described,) I named her Miriam, which is a special name to me. Hope you enjoy her as much as I do. For more info on Miriam or to purchase a signed print, click here.

Brooke Hagel Illustrations on VH1's House of Consignment

If you've caught VH1's new show, House of Consignment, you may have spotted my sketches blown up as giant wall decals all around the offices of E-Drop Off, the home of the new fashion focused reality show. I was commissioned by Corri McFadden and her right hand woman Nicole Guarascio about 2 years ago to come up with a bunch of custom illustrations for their website relaunch. To my pleasant surprise since they purchased the full usage rights to the custom sketches, they've used them not only on their website, but as large wall decals to adorn their office walls, which is now the "set" of their VH1 show. (For a closer look check out the post I wrote at that time here.)
The E-Drop Off girls reached out to me again to create some sketches for the holidays and their holiday party, which I believe was actually the party show in episode 2 of House of Consignment. For the holiday project I drew a bunch of new girls for their windows, holiday garlands with designer ornaments, logo snowflakes and even sketched jewelry that was made into temporary tattoos for party guests, which they briefly showed on the show! (My previous post on the holiday project is here.)
VH1's House of Consignment has 7 episodes left to their season so you have a few more weeks to tune in. Not all the sketches shown throughout the show are mine, but see if you can spot my work. My first TV moment was The Nate Berkus Show on NBC, now VH1, I wonder who will be next!?!