Bride Paper Dolls

At the risk of sounding full of myself, how adorable are these bridal paper dolls I illustrated?!?! As a child I absolutely loved playing with paper dolls and their different outfits, accessories, and hairstyles.
I was hired to sketch these two brides, as well as two wedding dress options, for Studio Wed's Atlanta Bridal Expo invitation. Not only was it my first time sketching paper dolls, but it was also my first time seeing my work printed by a letterpress printer.
I really love how it turned out, I just wish I had two copies so one could go in my flat portfolio and I could "play" with the other; pop all the pieces out, stand them up, and maybe even walk them down an imaginary isle. . .ahh to be a kid again.

Inside the Sketchbook: Club Monaco

I happen to live a few blocks away from a Club Monaco store that I pass by multiple times everyday. The window displays and merchandising are always superb but this week they literally stopped me in my tracks. The entire window consists of fashion illustrations that look like they're ripped right from a designers sketchbook! The first time I walked by was evening and the store was closed so I had to settle for taking some pictures and letting my mind wander; are they student work, are they the interns, or are they from the Club Monaco design team?
Well I went back during store hours, spoke with the manager, and after she did a little research she called me with the answer! All the illustrations are by one woman: Caroline Belhumeur, Club Monaco's Vice President of Women's Design Apparel and Accessories.
I adore Caroline's technique and the way she uses simple contouring without loosing any design details. I also love that the croquis are so well-styled and complete with glasses, handbags, and even jewelry. The original illustrations can be seen in the 57th street store and all the other stores display copies. I absolutely love this concept for store displays. You get to see how the designer intended for the clothing to look, get styling ideas, and see the fabulous fashion illustrations that started it all.
These sketches inspire me to pick up my sketchbook and a pencil and let the idea's flow. Lately my sketches are solely for clients and have a distinct direction, such as a "profile of a bride." Its hard sometimes to make time for sketching for the sake of sketching.

Thank you Shannon, for using your investigation skills and helping me out!

Fashion Week Spring 2011

(Peter Som and Monique Lhuillier)
New York Fashion Week is well underway so what better time to feature designer fashion illustrations from the collections. I love the simplicity of the fine pencil lines of this Peter Som sketch, and the heavy pen line and lack of skin tone in the Monique Lhuillier illustration frames the soft and frilly dress perfectly.
(Nanette Lepore and Tibi)
I haven't used watercolors since college but these illustrations from Nanette Lepore and Tibi make be want to dust off my brushes and play.
(Ella Moss and Peter Som)
Rendering patterns accurately can be a challenge, but Ella Moss makes it look effortless in her illustration of printed separates. And the Adam sketch appears quick and casual yet its completely readable and charming.

I discovered these sketches in the newest Pantone color trend report. Ten colors are highlighted throughout the report that are trending in fashion for the spring/summer 2011 season.

Fashion's Night Out: THE SHOW

Two nights ago I had the privilege of attending "The Show" hosted by Anna Wintour and Vogue. It's said to have been the largest public fashion show of all time. Over 150 models including Gisele Bundchen, Naomi Campbell, Liya Kebede, and Adriana Lima walked the breathtaking circular runway in Lincoln Center's Plaza. It was an incredible show that still has me on a fashion high two days later. Which ideally was one of the goals of the show, to get people amped to go out and spend for tomorrows 2nd annual Fashion's Night Out extravaganza. (Here's my post from last year's inaugural night.)

The evening was flawless, right down to the seating which was a star-burst formation with the dancing fountain at the center. The runway spiraled outward and I was seated at the end of the aisle and in a section that was a single row. This meant that I had models coming in right behind me, walking in front of me, and leaving along side me. It was crazy.
At exactly 7:30, just after the sun set and the buildings began to glow, Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind" began to play while fuschia spot lights whipped all around. Heads were whirling around fiercely trying to see where the models would emerge from when a double decker NYC tour bus pulled up with dancing and screaming models. The Show was absolutely spectacular. Seven trends were showcased: Tartan Twist, Pure at Heart, Fifties Flair, Jazz-Age Cool, Weekend Wrap-Up, Go Global, and Rock Chic.
Photography was prohibited, but once the show started I noticed everyone whipping out their iPhones and camera's so I joined in! I not only took these photo's but caught a few seconds of video as well! (Shh, don't tell.)

The Show was only 15 or 20 spectacular minutes. Right as it ended Pharrell jumped up on the fountain for a little closing performance. Once that was over I immediately headed over to the VIP area near the fountain where I caught glimpses (and some pictures) of Michael Kors, Seth Myers, Roger Federer (who I actually saw win a match in the US Open the previous night!), Harvey Weinstein, Vera Wang, and the queen herself, Ms. Anna Wintour. (Whom one of my very first blog posts was about, click here to read it.) I will soon post all of my pictures on my Facebook fanpage and will add a link to that here once I do.
I've been to a bunch of fashion week shows before, but there's no doubt this one will be at the top of my list for a while! I had my doubts about Fashion Week moving but if this first show is any indicator of whats to come, bring it on. Dying to see more, don't worry, the entire show is due to air on CBS Sept 14th at 10PM, so set your dvr now.

(Lincoln Center overhead image: by Tom and Lorenzo, pink-lit Lincoln Center image: Roxy Victoria, All other images and video: Brooke Hagel)

New to my shop: Olivia

It's been a while but hopefully its worth the wait. I've just added an elegant new bride to my Etsy shop named Olivia. I drew her a few months ago while working on a wedding poster of multiple brides (which I've yet to finish.) I forgot about Olivia until a client emailed me asking if I had anymore African-American brides which prompted me to go through my files and gather a few options to show her. The client chose Olivia, and since printing the illustration out, she's become one of my favorites. If you'd like a print of Olivia you can purchase her through the listing here.