Not quite the classic, paying commission but ordered and for commercial use all the same. I was asked to participate in an independent study for fashion illustration due to my—not to sound conceited—skills! A lot of this independent study was not fully realized as it started halfway through the second semester. But I feel accomplished all the same. I was able to complete two drawings hopefully to be used as the illustrations to go up as banners. These banners will line the streets of several fashion districts within Richmond. We hope to cement Richmond as the fashion forward city that it is. I was participating in this independent study with two other girls so we all came up with different drawings. I was asked to draw two girls. One girl was to be carrying shopping bags and the other girl was meant to be walking a dog. I do not know what the next steps for potentially seeing my girls waving in the wind as banners in some chic neighborhood would be. But for right now, they only exist here and now. Hopefully, that will mean new developments down the road!
One of my last assignments before my final for fashion drawing was to create four looks only in black. Using only black is a challenge enough for some people! Black is difficult to make look dimensional and not just like a blob with no shadow or highlight to it. We also had to incorporate a number of different fabrics into our drawings. For me, another challenge was figuring out how to make black look dynamic and not like just another LBD! It was a great assignment because I had never thought about the shapes of light and shadow needed to convey a certain fabric. And I also loved this assignment because, for some reason, even though I love the color black and I wear it almost everyday, I usually stray away from it in my designs!
I will only be showing off two of the four of my designs because our teacher wanted us to do half of our drawings in gouache and half in marker. It is just not worth showing off the gouache ones, they are nothing special!
The first one I drew utilizes black suiting fabric for the blazer top, velvet(with grey silk lining) cape, and the star of the show, black crocodile leather. I could have easily done regular leather and that would be quite the challenge to find all the highlights and shadows within the fluid fabric, but where’s the fun in that? The crocodile leather looked so beautiful and powerful. I definitely think this girl carries quite the sex appeal in a classy strong kind of way. I would not want to mess with her!
My second look was conceptually my favorite. I thought about different ways of showing black as more than just black. I was inspired by oil spills and the oil spill hair color trend. I thought it was such a cool concept to show black as containing a whole rainbow of colors. We think of oil as thick, gooey and sticky, but it has such a beautiful quality within it. I wanted my model to look wet like she was emerging from a pool of oil. I captured the thick yet gooey quality of oil by using a silk charmeuse material for the dress. I love how it just cascades down her body. I usually do not design a lot of evening wear, but I loved designing this gown. I wish that I could see some celebrity wearing a dress like this down the red carpet or to some fancy ball. It has a playful look while remaining classy and elegant.
Although the thought of dressing the opposite gender was a daunting concept for me, it was time to spread my wings and jump out of the womenswear nest. Only then can I either fly or fall flat on my face. My class and I finally received our menswear assignment. Not only that, we were required to use men’s shirting fabric, a twill fabric(but not denim), and a wool suiting fabric.
I always hated menswear. From what I had been exposed to my entire life, men were just boring to me. There were so little options, everything looked the same and nothing was ever unique. Granted I was looking at menswear through my experiences shopping and from what I see my male friends wear. I never really looked at menswear like I do with womenswear. I look at the things women have been wearing since ancient civilizations. I know womenswear through every generation, culture, and subculture. But for some reason, I never thought to try that with men. For this assignment, I knew that if I was going to do menswear, it would not be the same things I see men wear all the time. I want the men I dress to be just as daring, experiment, unique, artistic, and confident as the women I dress.
Drawing attention back to my intro, my collection was inspired by Victoria’s Riflebirds. I saw a video of two males of this species dancing their special mating dance to attract a female bird. This dance was so amazing and beautiful to me. These birds instinctually know to move in this way to garner attention and its a legit ritual in their world. It just blew my mind watching the dance! I loved using these birds for so many reasons. The dance itself is this beautiful movement with their wings that gives them such an unusual shape, I loved the silhouette! They also do this dance to compete for the female they want and that seemed so opposite of American gender dynamics. Here and now, women must doll themselves up to compete for the man’s attention, which is most likely the cause for many of the gender inequalities we are seeing today. I thought about how backwards our society is, and how we should be taking a page from the animal kingdom from time to time. The male birds of the species also have the most gorgeous coloration of jet black feathers with a touch of vibrant, iridescent aqua blue on their chest, and of course, their grey legs. I had to use this color story for myself because it was so perfect. The fact of the male of any species being the more attractive and flamboyant is a trend in the animal kingdom. If animals know this truth so naturally, why can’t men dress bolder without having some societal expectation and judgement attached to it? Honestly, can I just be a bird? Can I just be a heron?
I also wanted to use traditional menswear as a grounding point that I could expand from. I do not hate men’s suits or ties or dress shirts. I just want to keep moving forward; I want to use those concepts as jumping points for variations. I respect that menswear is tied to tradition in many ways and I understand the reasoning psychologically, but fashion is never standing still. Womenswear is being pushed and changed everyday(sometimes cycled, but that’s a different story), so men should dress just as freely.
Let me know what you think about my fine feathered friends:)
I realized far too late that I have a fashion drawing piece that was not posted. The drawing was completely ready to post but I suppose the shift of thinking about posting to actually posting was lost in translation. But it is never too late to look at pretty clothes in a pretty drawing(bias).
The collection is called Knautilus Knit as we were assigned to complete a knitwear collection. Usually I make it a rule for myself to never purchase a winter knit in a light or pastel color because I never actually want to wear pastels in the winter. So that was the challenge for myself when designing. I knew everyone else would want to design a winter knit thus using darker colors.
I drew inspiration from an iridescent nautilus shell I saw while flipping through my magazine clippings and made that the backbone if the collection. It also made sense because I jumped in to the design process without really knowing my inspiration, and the shapes that I was coming up with were dramatic and loose, yet sculptural. I thought that the draping on some of the designs looked very shell-like. Therefore, the collection turned into a pastel beach, almost mermaid-inspired collection.
I did try to include some iridescent qualities in the makeup, but it was quite difficult with gouache.
The goal overall was to give the collection a dreamlike quality, which I think comes across nicely:)
I recently wrote and illustrated my first article for Ink magazine here in Richmond. I am on staff with this magazine but I was finally able to contribute to their online content. I feel especially lucky that I was able to illustrate my own article as well:) The writing for this post will be fairly brief as I hope you will take the time to read the article I wrote on Ink magazine’s website. But I will post the illustration that I made to accompany the article. The article was about kpop and it’s influence on fashion. I focused specifically on the gender neutral elements present in a lot of kpop groups’ wardrobe. Please enjoy:D http://www.inkmagazinevcu.com/2017/04/07/fashion-crush-kpop/
What!?!?! Three posts in a row, what’s happening?!?! I am trying to overcompensate for my mini-drought. And this is way overdue!
So look at my kids(*shoves wallet photos in your face)!!! For my children’s wear line, I used To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee as my main source of inspiration. We had to use plaid and gingham only, and nothing else. I tried to stay as far away from bright colors as I could for a of couple reasons. First, it would be too expected to use bright colors for children. I know that is the trend because children should be fun, bright, and bubbly, but the children that wear my clothes will be fashionable enough to know better:P I also did not want to risk having anything look like Bermuda shorts or some other weird, preppy look; it is simply not my aesthetic. If we are using plaid and gingham head to toe, I knew I had to choose colors that look good together. The decade and mood that I was going for with To Kill a Mockingbird did not call for those types of bright and loud colors either. Lastly, my trio is supposed to be like Scout, Jem, and Dill. I chose this book as inspiration because I loved how Scout was such a tomboy. I often find decades where women do not have a lot of rights and attempt to search for the glimpses of feminism deep within them. I did not use bright colors because the fashion is meant to be gender neutral. I have seen too many of those gender study reports done where they mention the differences in how little girls grow up versus little boys. So like Scout, my girls will rarely be caught all dressed up. The little girls I dress prefer their comfort and the freedom to get their clothes dirty. And all three of my figures could swap clothes and it would not make much difference.
The clothes were supposed to have a slight depression feel, but they were not meant to be sad. I wanted to showcase the way a child in the south during that time would dress for school. There are some elements of using patches, where the girl on the left has one irregular patch on her pants and the other patches do not match the direction of the gingham on her pants. And the pants worn by the girl on the right have the same juxtaposing direction of gingham. This is meant to play on the homey, handmade nature of children’s clothing during this time. Mothers would mend their children’s clothes using whatever fabric they had available, placing it haphazardly. I wanted the boy in the center to wear some sort of overall, while not using classic overalls.
I loved this aesthetic because, as far as children’s wear is concerned, I wanted to transport my audience to a more playful time for children. A lot of what I loved while reading To Kill a Mockingbird and watching the movie was seeing the children play, explore, and grow up. While not always having the best experiences, they discovered it all on their own. My dad would often tell me about when he grew up as a child in the 60s and early 70s and how he would go off with his friends in the neighborhood. They would play in the woods, ride bikes, and even put on little performances and plays for their neighborhood. While this playful interpretation of the book may be a romanticized version, despite all that happens throughout the plot, I wanted to capture that childlike innocence and freedom through this collection.
…Yea, I am just really not feeling a tee today. Truth is, I have way too much that I need to post and not enough time to think about posting it! My assignments are piling up as well as my outfit shots. I keep bothering my friend after we eat lunch together for a an outfit picture and it turns into a whole production! But I keep drawing and creating so much every week! I need to start posting more and more before it becomes so irrelevant that I have to include the word “throwback” somewhere in the description! And there are too many things I want to discuss in the moment that it pains me to have to preface my work with giant “THIS IS OLD” disclaimers. And then apologizing for how late I always seem to be.
But c’est la vie I suppose. However, having more photos than not is preferable. I never thought that I would become so shameless when it came to taking photos. I used to get so embarrassed trying to look cute while other people strolled by. But now, my shame has dried up and withered away.
All this to tell you that I have some old projects I would like to get off my chest.
The first is from my junior denim collection that I had to design for my fashion drawing class as one of my finals. We had to choose a store that sold a lot of denim products. More than just jeans however, this included denim tops, jackets, even skirts. I chose American Eagle for my store. Usually American Eagle has maintained a specific aesthetic as they carry a lot of plaid flannels and sweater material items. But when I went into their store for research, I noticed them moving in a more vintage direction as they were carrying a lot of flowing, ruffle tops and two toned skinny jeans. So for my collection, I took inspiration from the Belle Epoque and Turn of the Century periods. At the time, the president had just been elected so I wanted to find a way to give my collection a very understated sense of feminism. During the turn of the century, there was a significant rise in the use of contraception. Although it was illegal to use such items, women were interested in finding alternatives to getting pregnant as delivering a child was one of the most dangerous things a woman could do during that time. So there was a rise of women taking charge of their own bodies and health. I liked that bit of research as that period 0of history is often not regarded as celebrating any kind of feminism. But I suppose its the little victories that matter just as much sometimes.
I also used a rose motif for this collection but I tried to use it in an abstracted and less obvious way to communicate this understated feminism concept. The idea for the denim was to have this abstracted rose paneled and stitched together.