Live-Sketching Bridal Fashion Week for Brides Magazine

Recently I attended Bridal Fashion Week to live sketch designers final looks on behalf of Brides Magazine's social media channels and it was without a doubt one of my favorite projects to date. With my sketchbook and art supplies in tow I attended Reem Acra, Monique Lhuillier and Marchesa's Spring 2016 Bridal Collections along with a photographer and camera crew to record me live-sketching for photos and time-lapse videos.

I was invited to arrive early to each show for a closer look at the gown I'd be illustrating. The first was Reem Acra and it was an exquisite cream colored re-embroidered metallic lace long sleeve dress with circular tulle underlay. (Sketch shown above) I took some photos of the dress details, watched the models in hair and makeup, then headed out to my seat for the show. Promptly after the show I scooted backstage with the camera crew where my model was waiting for me in the finale dress to pose. I completed the sketch in about 15-20 minutes and she was thrilled with the outcome, and said she'd actually never been sketched before. I then thanked and shared the sketch with Reem Acra. She loved it and was quite complimentary of my work, which she had checked out prior to my arrival. (Ekk!)
Next up, Monique Lhuillier. Again I arrived early and was brought backstage for a closer look at the finale gown. Waiting for my sketching location I sat backstage for quite a while watching the models and snapping pix. They said if I liked another gown more I could sketch whichever gown I thought would make the best illustration so instead of the long-sleeved finale gown I chose a strapless tulle ballgown with a delicate lace bodice with lace appliqu├ęs that trickled onto the skirt, to differentiate it from the dress I drew that morning. After the show I got set up in the room they were shooting the look-book in, so again, the model was right there and got to see her final sketch along with the Monique Lhuillier (see below.)
Lastly Marchesa, which unsurprisingly was flawless. When I arrived early backstage I was told the design team wanted to meet with me. Two of the head designers came out and showed me the three contenders they had in mind for the sketch. I chose this gown (below) because of the unique gathered bodice and beautiful three dimensional florals throughout the etherial skirt. I didn't realize at the time, but this was in-fact the finale look. Being a presentation situation, not a runway show, I was able to set up with the camera crew and sketch while the model posed on the pedestal. I saw the two Marchesa designers Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig during the show but unfortunately not after, once the sketch was complete.
It doesn't get much better than sketching Bridal Fashion Week for Brides Magazine. It was a dream project and hopefully I'll have the opportunity to do it again. Through the years I've attended countless New York Fashion Weeks but up until now, actually only one bridal show, and I have to say I'm sold! Beautiful New York venues showcasing one stunning fairytale gown after the next, it was a fashion illustrating dream come true. You can check out more of my sketches and a time lapse video over on Brides Magazine instagram account. Thank you to the team at Brides and all the designers who welcomed me!

For more of my bridal illustrations you can check out my bridal print shop: Brooklit Bride.

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Michelle said...

These sketches are just divine! I'm positive you have the fashion illustrator dream job!


Brooke Hagel said...

@Michelle, thank you! I have to say this was quite a spectacular project and definitely a "pinch me" moment.