Illustrating the Impact of Norma Kamali

Graphic, Projects Series

While my assorted visions can be fuzzy at times, nobody could say this of the legendary designer Norma Kamali. And I cannot pinpoint the exact year that I was first smitten and intrigued by Ms Kamali, I’ve recently reconnected with her present collections – and being blown away in both her aesthetic as a designer as well as the considered integrity that she upholds both personally and professionally. Rather than fill this post with the Kamali history, there is a fascinating article one can read on Vogue’s pages.

As my salute to Ms Kamali, I joined together one look which dates back to 1983 [roughly being that era when she arrived on my radar] with the tracksuit found in her present line. Quite the companions!

Norma Kamali Salute

 

Yasmin in Bottega

Brushwork, Projects Series

Faces. How to explain whose face will lure me in cannot be easily expressed. Nor could I articulate why one photo among countless others compels me to render it, by whatever means. In this sketch of Yasmin Wijnaldum, she wears Bottega Veneta for a 2018 Elle editorial.

Photographer Chris Colls, versatile – and cunning in this instance, captures Yasmin beautifully by cleverly setting this overcoat against the grid of a rusted fence.

How did this escape me at the time of receipt? Again, I have no idea!

Yasmin in 2018 Bottega

Bride and Groom – Groom and Bride

Projects Series

Do I dare to even imagine the red carpet hoopla which will descend at the Met’s gala for their upcoming “Camp: Notes on Fashion” costume exhibition?! Already I am beside myself over Vogue’s May 2019 issue…

Their editorial “warm-up” is entitled Breaking Camp. Already stupidly giddy over actor Ezra Miller, I’m now smitten with his photo shoot partner Keiynan Lonsdale – both attired in Thom Browne. Furthermore, I am {SO!} now following photographer Ethan James Green.

Pencil sketch of an Ethan James Green photo for Vogue of two young men in a matrimonial pose.

Sketch of Ethan James Green photo [May 2019 of Vogue]

A simple pencil sketch with touches of violet – but uncharacteristic in this is that I used a bit of color burn filtering for its presentation here.

Yacht Pajamas by Edward Molyneux, 1934

Projects Series

My interest in designer Edward Molyneux [b. 1891, d. 1974] was ignited by my friendship with Pati Hill. Before Pati’s death in 2014, I had only known that she once modeled for fashion magazines and French ateliers back in the 1940s… I must credit my friends Nicole and Richard in their very thorough research done for the exhibition catalog: “Pati Hill: Photocopier”

In 1919, British born Molyneux established himself in Paris. Many of his clients later became globally known fashion icons.  Finding photos depicting Molyneux designed clothing isn’t easy – however I rather liked this ensemble found in a d’Ora studio shot [the model, unknown] from 1934.

A sketch and watercolor taken from a d'Ora 1934 photo of a model wearing nautical theme pajamas.

 

Paper Rag Doll

Brushwork, Projects Series

The original editorial in W’s #2 2019 issue had model Rianne Van Rompaey with super sized lacquered hair. If my version is a slight to stylist Grace Coddington’s vision, I beg forgiveness. Craig McDean’s photos are beguiling – and I was hooked. (The clothing, primarily Valentino.)

To stay nearly true to the lighting I wound up using some of my student grade colored pencils, with a light wash and a dash of semi-soft pastels for the background.

Colored pencil sketch with wash depicting model Rianne Van Rompaey wearing a Valentino ensemble. featured in the Spring issue of W Magazine.

Rianne Van Rompaey in Valentino

Shanelle on Parchment

Projects Series

Needing a break from my pen and ink studies, I looked to the Spring 2019 fashion pages. Vogue’s March issue has a profile piece on the [often] nomadic minded Rick Owens. As I just happened to have parchment paper within reach, I began sketching Shanelle Nyaiase [as photographed by Zoe Ghertner] and was intrigued with just how graphite appears in the process.

While colored pencils, understandably, might have been a bad turn… Yet I can never resist when an orange hue is involved!

Shanelle Wearing Rick Owens

Revisiting the Arch Series

Brushwork, Projects Series

It was in February 2016 when I first announced – online, here – that I was devoting myself to the traditional mediums with my art. Although, originally the idea had been to pursue combining paintings with digital imagery. [See: Brushwork] Which didn’t actually pan out, exactly.

Anyway, rather than include this piece in the Diaphanous collection, I feel it speaks more of the Arch series due to the mirroring, et al. Painted with watered Gelatos, it measures 9 ¾” x 6”. Is this dawn and dusk at an intersection?

Gelato painting of two streams of cloth against a lime green background.

Arch 17-01

Diaphanous

Brushwork

Fashion magazines provide inspiration – particularly when the more voluminous September issues arrive. Billowy and ruffled clothing – which I rarely wear, if ever – found in some editorial spreads mesmerize me. Photographer David Sims captured model Liya Kebede in some crazy motion for Vogue’s Fall 2015 issue. Take special notice of her skirt:

liya-kebede

From this I produced many variations of what I’ve been calling my Diaphanous series. As seen in this 5″ x 8″ gouache below:

diaphanous-topography-wp