Dior’s “Pas de Deux”

Projects Series

Maybe it’s just me. Yet, while flipping through the Spring/Summer 2019 collections I felt a bombardment of exaggeration. 

However, Thank you, Maria Grazia Chiuri! Chiuri is the creative director at Dior. As stated on the Dior website, the present campaign came about to embrace “the body in movement”. Nuanced. And gauzy without obscuring.

dior-spring-2019

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

Sketching Schiaparelli

Brushwork, Projects Series

Last year while shopping used books, I happened upon one entitled: “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations”.

https://www.metmuseum.org/press/exhibitions/2012/schiaparelli-and-prada-press-release

To be more exact, this book is the catalog from the Metropolitan’s 2012 exhibition. Whenever buying a museum catalog, there are rarely previews of its contents. Priced at “a steal” level, I was stunned when it arrived; both the quality and quantity of images within are curated with imaginative consideration.

This sketch was done from a photo by Regina Relang in 1938. I do love “Persian Lamb” – as seen in this Elsa Schiaparelli jacket in its collar, cuffs, and gloves. [To be really forthcoming, I didn’t know what that curly black fabric was called until I researched it, mid-sketch!]

Mixed media used in greyscale rendering of an Elsa Schiaparelli outfit from 1938.

Schiaparelli Ensemble 1938

 

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

That Twist

Brushwork, Projects Series

In the mid-Sixties, twenty year old German countess Vera Gottliebe Anna Gräfin von Lehndorff-Steinort was transformed into the now legendary model known as Veruschka. Photographer Richard Avedon, who I recall as that era’s Annie Leibovitz [as in “you know you’ve arrived if you’re posing for…”]  produced many of his fashion iconic images with Veruschka.  The stunning photo below was taken during Avedon’s tenure at Vogue.

Black and white photo of Veruschka taken by Richard Avedon

Richard Avedon photo of Veruschka, 1967

My own take on that photo became a kind of neon negative, done in gouache and watercolor:

Gouache and watercolor painting of Veruschka in reds and purple against a bright yellow background

That Twist

Nethery and Tilberg in “State of Grace”

Brushwork, Projects Series

For the sartorial minded September is the month that releases brick-heavy issues from Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and Elle. Furthermore, these September magazines are usually abundant with pages and pages for my own inspiration. But what is going on for 2018?! All I could see was a deluge of extremes. Puffy coats on steroids. Gym wear, ala haute couture. And, really?! A revival bringing the worst of the Eighties.

Yet, Marie Claire’s September offered some redemption. And it came by way of an editorial [no kidding!] titled “State of Grace”.  Photographer Robert Nethery uses an exquisite flood of light in his work, so that model Tasha Tilberg appears beautifully near-translucent.

A gouache portrait of Tasha Tilberg from a Robert Nethery photo in which she holds a small white dog

Nethery’s Tasha

Natasha Ramsay-Levi Study

Brushwork, Projects Series

There is so much more behind my being mesmerized by Natasha Ramsay-Levi’s face that transcends the surface. Found in W Magazine’s Volume 4 2018 issue, I then went online to find out more about the photographer Paolo Roversi. Within the bio I’d located, I learned that Roversi’s first assignment for the AP was to cover Ezra Pound’s funeral – which alone is an auspicious start for a photographer’s journey. And in her position as creative director for Chloé, Ramsay-Levi has brought some extraordinary and admirable views and visions…

Photo by Paolo Roversi

My colored pencil depiction from the above:

 

Colored pencil with water sketch of natasha ramsay-levi

Marisa by Penn

Brushwork, Projects Series

The actual title I give this painting is “A Girl Can Dream” – as Marisa Berenson has mesmerized me since my own childhood/girl years. A case of Marisa envy, if you will. And the photo behind the painting is another I’ve held onto for I-don’t-know-how-long! The original was shot by Irving Penn. [Interesting side note: My father had been a commercial photographer and disliked the work of Penn. However, he never elaborated on this.] And with as much credit compliance I can provide, I can only assume that this Penn assignment first appeared in Vogue. That is my guess and can also only speculate on the year it was taken.

An Irving Penn photo of Marisa Berenson, who is wearing a pink outfit

Marisa Berenson by Irving Penn

Plainly, a lot of artistic license factored in this. In addition to modifying her Adele Simpson outfit, I riffed a bit from Milton Glaser in transforming her hair. [See iconic image of Bob Dylan which Glaser illustrated for his greatest hits release, 1966.]

Gouache painting of an Irving Penn photo which features Marisa Berenson, with artistic modification of colors and hair

A Girl Can Dream

To Have and To Hold

Brushwork, Projects Series

In posting this painting, I fear becoming known as “That Tim Walker-crazed painter”. Not only that, but Tim Walker – or his agent, anyway – may not be all that keen in my depictions of his inspired settings and/or concepts behind his photo shoots. Be what may: I joined two of his photos together here. While his bride appeared in a 2016 issue of “British Vogue”, the model in black originated in a 2009 issue of “Italia Vogue”. And I could not resist the contrast!

Gouache painting depicting photographed models by Tim Walker

To Have and To Hold

Hyunji in Marc

Brushwork, Projects Series

First, an apology to adorable model Hyunji Shin. When working from Terry Tsiolis’ photo [in an editorial from the July 2018 issue of Elle] my foremost intent was to depict this incredible outline of the Marc Jacobs gown; I hardly did justice in Hyunji’s face! Yet, painting wet on wet is still rather foreign to me. One has to relinquish a lot of control – and those who know me will understand…

Watercolor fashion illustration of model Hyunji Shin in a fuchsia Marc Jacobs gown, from photo by Terry Tsiolis

Hyunji in Marc

 

 

Shear Blue Gloves

Brushwork, Projects Series

There are fashion magazine clippings which I have kept in a binder over the years… [And I do try to keep impulsive clipping at a reasonable binder management level. To “try”, being relative.] My most recent muse came by way of W Magazine and, more to the point, photographer Willy Vanderperre. His photograph offered me two elements I could not resist: lovely hand gesturing and challenging shadows. And I title this as Shear over Sheer because most challenging for me was in knowing when and what to omit.

Watercolor illustration of a Willy Venderperre photo featuring a woman wearing a military jacket and hat, with blue mesh gloves

Shear Blue Gloves

 

Galliano’s Peacock

Brushwork, Projects Series

From a Rossettiesque photo by Peter Lindbergh, a Galliano gown is featured. I liked the near weariness in the model’s pose. And while the original photo [featured in Vogue, I believe] had her set against dark greens and what looked like ivy growing from the ground, I chose to add a bed of Iris instead. As my own Iris is now in bloom, will I follow them?

watercolor painting of a red haired woman wearing a Galliano gown. Featuring Iris bloom in the background, with the gown in the colors of a peacock.

Galliano’s Peacock