Chloe by Design Book Signing

Tomorrow I will be at BookExpo America signing advance copies of the latest book I illustrated Chloe by Design, Making the Cut, and you're invited. Come by to say hello and get a complimentary advance copy of the book signed by me:
When: Sat. May 31st
Time: 9:30 - 11:30 AM
Place: BookExpo America at Jacob Javits Center
             655 W 34th St. New York, NY 10001
Booth: 1469
Chloe by Design, Making the Cut is the first of a four book young adult series. If you're interested in knowing more about it, check out the incredible book trailer that Capstone Publishing put out anticipating its release. And if you can't make it to New York for the signing, the book is currently available on Amazon for pre-order, due to be released August 1st. Hope to see you there!

Cher Tour Illustrations

A few months ago I had the opportunity to create sketches for the one and only Cher! I collaborated with celebrity hair stylist Ricardo Rojas to sketch a handful of illustrations to be presented to Cher for her upcoming tour. Rojas, having worked closely with Cher for years had a clear-cut vision of not only the hair styles he wanted present, but the strong poses and attitude that the custom tour sketches should convey.
Rojas and I met at his beautiful Upper East Side salon (shown above,) knocked around concepts, reviewed inspiration photo's and tweaked sketches to settle on the final illustrations. In the past I've featured both Cher and Bob Mackie on Fabulous Doodles many times and its exciting to now share my own interpretation of the icon. (Albeit, I leaned a little towards the simpler side with costumes to keep the focus on hair but you know I adore a sequined-feathered Bob Mackie number!) Cher's D2K Tour is now well underway and after seeing photos friends posted from the Brooklyn show I'm proud to say Ricardo Rojas did an incredible job on Cher's tour "hair wardrobe" and hopefully my sketches contributed positively.

Related posts you may have missed:

Happy 5th Birthday Fabulous Doodles

In addition to being Memorial Day here in the US, today is also Fabulous Doodles' 5th birthday, aka my "blogiversary!" To commemorate the occasion last night I illustrated this girl sporting red, white and blue while kicking up her heels in celebration. Since I think she's a keeper, I've also added her to the shop if you'd like a print.

I honestly can't believe its been 5 years since I started Fabulous Doodles and began sharing my illustrations on a regular basis. At the time I was working full time as a product designer and thought starting a blog and Etsy shop would be a little side project. Becoming a full time independent fashion illustrator, working with iconic fashion brands including Vogue, Dior, and Hugo Boss, and being flown across the country to illustrate at events has been beyond a dream come true. In keeping with tradition here are some personal highlights of the past year:

  • Sketching for events for brands including Bobbi Brown, Lucky Brand, Dior, B. Brian Atwood, Dream Dry, Teen Vogue, Hugo Boss, Figleaves and Old Navy. I also flew out to LA to live sketch again, this time for a Pandora jewelry event for stylists and costume designers. 
  • Continued receiving beautiful commissions for custom bridal illustrations, which have always been a favorite of mine to draw. I've also expanded my Brooklit Bride Etsy shop.
  • Began drawing children, starting with inspirational Instagrams of the adorable Sadie Yanks, daughter of Samantha Yanks Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons Magazine. 
  • I was commissioned to draw large batches of fabulous fashion blogger inspired illustrations as custom gifts for Love Gold and Neutrogena
  • Live sketched at New York Fashion Week for event sponsor Samsung and for the very first time sketched digitally with a stylus pen on a Samsung Pro tablet. 
  • Illustrated a 4-book series and the publisher released an amazing video book trailer. The first of the series, Chloe by Design: Making the Cut, is now available for pre-order on Amazon!
  • Although this was very recent, attending the star studded press preview of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's newly named Anna Wintour Costume Center's Charles James exhibit was pretty spectacular and certainly a highlight of my year. (Even Nigel Barker agreed with me, it was quite the monumental fashion industry event!) 
Thanks for following along and hopefully this year brings even more incredible client collaborations and pinch-me moments to share here on Fabulous Doodles.

Met Gala Red Carpet Inspired Fashion Illustrations

Today I'm excited to share some of the Met Gala red carpet fashion illustrations I illustrated. As I wrote about already, attending the Charles James exhibit press preview and getting a first look at the show alongside some of the fashion industry's biggest names was incredible, and it made me even more excited to get home and sketch the gala red carpet arrivals. For me the standout of this years red carpet was all the tulle and floral prints, and those are the looks I ended up sketching. First up, shown above is model Suki Waterhouse in a etherial strapless Burberry gown of endless layers of pale pink tulle ruffles.
Lately I've been incorporating gauche more and more into my illustrations and the stunning Marchesa gown that Karolina Kurkova wore was an ideal look to render in this medium. The structured black ball gown had gorgeous contrasting white flowers radiating from the waist and created such a dynamic look. It was one of my favorite gowns of the night, and now one of my favorite illustrations.
Another red carpet favorite was my friend and Vogue girl Cara Crowley in one of the sweetest gowns of the evening, a dreamy mint green Reem Acra. Cara was one of the first arrivals I saw on the carpet and my first illustration of the night. The amazing mint color combined with layers of delicate pleated tulle and polished old Hollywood hair was red carpet ball perfection.
And last but not least is a favorite actress and favorite designer of mine, Emmy Rossum in Carolina Herrera. This yellow gown was fully adorned with a large floral pattern and it was not only gorgeous but a fabulous standout statement on the Met red carpet. It was also a fun to illustrate such a big bold organic pattern. 

Since these illustrations were quite a hit with my social media, and I'm really pleased with all them, I've decided to sell prints of all the Met Gala inspired illustrations in my Etsy shop. You can find prints of Suki, Karolina, Cara and Emmy all available to purchase in Brooklit

Fabulous Doodles Inspiration No.2, Gladys Perint Palmer

For my second feature in the Fabulous Doodles Inspiration series, I'm spotlighting fashion illustrator Gladys Perint Palmer who depicts high fashion inspired illustrations that are often loose and whimsical. The illustration shown here is Jennifer Lawrence's 2013 Oscar winning look, a Raf Simons' for Christian Dior from spring 2013. I love this dress, and I love her stylized take on it! (I actually sketched this gown too, for Quest Magazine a few weeks prior to the Oscars but since Jennifer made it instantly iconic the sketch was pulled from the final spread and never published.) I find Gladys Perint Palmers fashion illustrations to be fun and inspiring and I'm sure you will too. You can take a look at more of her work here

On a personal note, years ago I spent a couple of weeks studying fashion illustration with Ms. Palmer at the Academy of Art College (now its "University") of San Francisco in their high school summer program back in 1997. It was a great experience and I remember Ms. Palmer's stories of jaunts to the couture shows and runway sketching. I've followed her work for years but it wasn't until this February, at New York Fashion Week that I saw her again. I reintroduced myself, and what we both remembered well about that summer was sadly it was the summer Gianni Versace was killed. Ms. Palmer, being a friend and colleague of Versace and having illustrated all his homes, was understandably very upset and cancelled classes. 

(Illustration: ©GladysPerintPalmer 2013) 

Inspired Weekend

This weekend was a fashion illustration filled working weekend for me as I had a bunch of custom sketches to finish and send to clients and brides but I did manage to squeeze a little Sephora trip, pop by a party and unexpectidly soak up more Charles James inspiration.

1. Left a party and stumbled upon Bergdorf Goodman's beautiful Charles James Beyond Fashion inspired windows. This photo shows the monochromatic white background of a couturier (which had a Louise Nevelson vibe; famous sculptor and a cousin of mine) complimenting James inspired gowns by Ralph Rucci, Zac Posen and Naeem Khan, among others.

2. Sketched all weekend. Here's a sneak peek of a custom bridal illustration, one of many I polished off and sent out to brides this weekend. (Can't share the whole sketch just yet, as the bride hasn't seen it yet!)

3. Popped by Elle's The Face season 2 finale party where I awkwardly made my first GIF in a Phhhoto animated photo booth. There I chatted with The Face host Nigel Barker about how incredible Monday's Met Costume Center press preview was! I told him I spotted him in one of the galleries while previewing the Charles James exhibit and we both gushed about the turnout. Nigel too was amazed by the elite fashion-crowd and said that the morning was even better than that evening's gala. Of his long career he said it was a truly one of the most remarkable events!

4. Marc Jacobs lip gel in Moody Margot. I'm always on the hunt for the perfect nude lipstick and/or pale pink gloss and this beauty is a welcomed addition to my makeup bag. I can't seem to get enough of Marc Jacobs Beauty and its sleek packaging design.

Preview of 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' Exhibit

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's new Anna Wintour Costume Center opens this week with 'Charles James: Beyond Fashion' and I had the pleasure of previewing the inaugural exhibit only hours before the grand Met Ball! A remarkable star-studded fashion crowd was in attendance for the morning ribbon cutting by First Lady Michelle Obama.
Working in fashion for years, I have encountered many before but seeing all them all together at once was truly surreal! It was one major design icon after the next including; Calvin Klein, Donna Karan, Giancarlo Giammetti of Valentino, Alber Elbaz of Lanvin, Jenna Lyons, Vera Wang (all shown above,) Raf Simons of Dior, Iris Apfel,  Ralph Lauren, Mickey Drexler and Michael Kors.
After the dedication all in attendance were able to preview the exhibit, located in three galleries throughout the museum which oddly are located in opposite wings. Being one of only 4 days of the year that the Met is closed to the public it was pretty fun to walk through the museum and see the galleries that I've walked countless times before which are normally backed with crowds, empty.
The exhibit itself was quite different than the costume exhibits that have proceeded it and I learned from Met curator Harold Koda, who was on hand to answer questions for the morning, that this was an intentional and purposeful goal. "The look and feel is different. Punk-to-James, a most dramatic palette cleanser" for newly named Anna Wintour Costume Center.
James' gowns spanning his 40 year career are displayed in two very dramatically dark galleries with tiny spot lights on each garment. They've implemented new technology that uses a robotic arm to scan each gown and on a foot-level screen you're shown a blueprint of the garment's construction, pattern pieces, fabrics and infrastructure. Exhibit curator Koda says that it's only "when you examine the dresses that you see the mad-architect design and what makes a James a James. Through technology it's visually understandable. Fashion students never forgot James but for the general public it's reintroducing him." The goal was to be analytical but understandable. "People will leave with an understanding that he was doing something different and special" says Koda.
(Top left image: Austine Hearst in Charles James Clover Leaf Gown, 1953) 
For me the surprise of the exhibit came in the newly named Anna Wintour gallery (also the one space throughout the show that was well lit.) There you will find James' sketches, fully sewn muslins, personal photographs, sculptures and storyboards for the autobiography he continually worked on but never produced, also aptly titled "Beyond Fashion." Through his sketches (and later in the animated videos into the evening wear) I couldn't help but be reminded of the work of American couturier Ralph Rucci and the similarities in the architecture and engineering of their designs, as well as more recently the work of Zac Posen. Clearly James' work, some of which is nearly 70 years old continues to be an influence on designers.
I have to say Charles James: Beyond Fashion is a must see. The rooms are dark, and it's definitely not your typical Costume Institute show but the opportunity to see this much of creative genius Charles James' exquisite work should not be missed. The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Charles James: Beyond Fashion will be open to the public between May 8th and August 10th.  And stay tuned to Fabulous Doodles because in the next day or two I'll be sharing my Met Gala inspired fashion sketches.

(All images by Brooke Hagel unless otherwise noted.)

Katy Perry Tour Costume Sketches

For the past few days Katy Perry's been instagramming a sketch-a-day sneak peek of her multi-designer tour wardrobe for her new Prismatic World Tour! We're only day 6, so there's more to come but I couldn't hold off any longer. As of now this happy face Jeremy Scott for Moschino and this Valentino Haute Couture sketch are my favorites!

I adore tour costume sketches, and love that so many artists and designers are sharing then now. (Here, in the Fabulous Doodles archives are Armani designs for Lady Gaga and Kaufman Franco for Whitney Houston.) Hope you have a happy weekend! 

(Illustration: Jeremy Scott for Moschino) 

Custom Bridal Illustrations; The Go-to Wedding Gift

Its officialy May, which means wedding season is upon us so what better time to share my go-to wedding gift of custom bridal fashion illustrations. Similar to my last bridal post, this batch of brides all happen to be friends of mine, (yes, I've had a very wedding filled year!) two of which I've personally gifted with a custom illustration and one that was purchased as a gift from her sister-in-law. First up is an old high school friend of mine, Tina, in a gorgeous Badgley Mischka gown. In this dress Tina was breathtaking and from the moment I saw her in it I couldn't wait to sketch her it. I absolutely loved this gown with its slinky drape, demure neckline, cap sleeves and intricate beaded waist band. It's such a unique, chic and sophisticated bridal choice. I actually also drew Tina in a wedding couple sketch too, but I'll be sharing that one another day!
Next is my adorable friend Danielle in a modest gown with lace trim appliqués, a ruffled hem, and lovely little bows that ran along the center back. I was traveling and unfortunitly couldn't make it to Danielle's wedding but I was able to get my hands on a bunch of pictures and surprise her with a sketch capturing her wedding look from photos, as I typically do with regular clients whom I don't know personally. Danielle was glowing in all the photos, wearing a smile from ear to ear with tendrils of hair escaping her up-do and blowing about in the wind. I think I captured her, and the day, pretty well even though I couldn't be there.
Last but not least is Kristy, the beautiful new sister-in-law to one of my oldest friends, wearing a delicate tulle skirted Maggie Sottero gown with lace appliqués, an embellished waistband and sweetheart lace bodice. This particular friend has actually given one of my custom bridal illustrations or a custom illustration gift certificate to just about every bride she's known in the past eight or so years. All her friends, family members and even neighbors have custom Brooke Hagel bridal sketches! I guess you could say it's her go-to wedding and bridal shower gift. Sadly my scanner didn't actually pick up the skirt shading and highlights, because the actual original illustration had a lot of depth and detail. Kristy wrote me saying she loved it and couldn't wait to have it framed and hanging in her home.

For more information on custom bridal sketches you can check out the custom listings and gift certificates in my bridal print shop, Brooklit Bride.