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Some quick sketches

My stylus just rolls around on the wacom pad and I'm free as a bird. Sketches like these are not typically for show, but they do give me ideas for what finished illustrations I may work on next.


Girly shoes and butterflies

Still sorta in a rut, but drawing makes me feel better. (click to see a bigger version)


As I drew this, I felt like...

Well, you get the idea.

I'm just in a slump and being silly. Proper, serious attempts to make fashion illustrations will hopefully follow soon.


New lux meets old lux

I usually don't bother writing about the big European labels like Prada because there are already so many bloggers doing a fine job of featuring them. This time, however, I felt slightly obligated because Prada's campaign for its spring line revolves around a 9-minute film shot by Yang Fudong, a Chinese artist. Yes, the feeling of obligation came from my being Chinese and my sharing the artist's last name. (Please don't roll your eyes!)

In Yang's piece, new luxuries literally meet China's old splendors as the slick Prada suits share the same frames with embroidered silk and dangling hair ornaments. Not a single word is spoken throughout the film, but I think there's a fairly clear message. The film reminds viewers that China, in its modern prosperity, is at a point where consumers can, much like in prosperous dynasties prior to the Communist Revolution, afford luxury products again.

Screenshots are below.
Beautiful people, clad in their mod Prada glory, descend into an unfamiliar place.

Appearing chic but bewildered, they look around.
A couple dressed in Prada's latest peer through a window and sees the creatures of this mysterious place.
Two men dressed in ancient China's best examine the pair of modern dandies.
Homme Spring 2010 has a harmonious dinner with the Song Dynasty.

The visitors try to leave but drop their mesh umbrellas and lose their balance as they attempt to fly away. They fall back into this world.
The last scene of the film-- the couple seems to be riding away on a trolley, but men wearing ancient garb follow them, and the meaning is ambiguous.

(If the costumes from this film are not representative of the Song Dynasty, please tell me. I'm pretty sure but not 100%.)

You can view the film on the Prada website.


Too sexy to trim my bangs

Just a bit of doodling in Illustrator.


Drooling over the pieces of Porkshanks

Every time I visit Porkshank's Deviant Art page I'm filled with incredible awe and jealousy. Molly Friedrich, the woman behind the unusual alias, is an extraordinary artist who can paint, create sculptures, sew and put together some of the most extraordinary jewelry pieces I have seen. Her Deviant page is filled with intricate, beautiful necklaces I can totally imagine gracing the haute necks of runway models. I've posted my favorite images from her site.

The necklace shown immediately below is available at Friedrich's Etsy page.


Bad posture

I love seeing fashion spreads filled with models contorting their long-limbed bodies into unusual, dynamic poses. I also can't help but think of my mom clucking her tongue and wagging her finger at the hunched backs. She's not a fan of bad posture. (click to see full image)


New Shoes: Contemporary Footwear Design (Hardcover)

A little while ago, I was browsing through the accessories section at FIT's library and came upon this handy book. I flipped through and fell in love with the big, bright photographs of very pretty shoes and eventually brought my own copy via Amazon. A snippet from the book jacket's blurb reads, "Showcasing some of the most innovative contemporary designers from across the globe, this book presents footwear to satisfy all tastes, from subtle twists on classics to wonderful creations that leave you puzzling over how they are worn. Although not necessarily household names in their own right, the designers featured here are the unsung heroes who have headed up the footwear design teams for high profile fashion houses such as Donna Karan, Ralph, Lauren, Bottega Venta [...]"

The book showcases 25 designers by including gratuitous photos of their designs and short biographies. I've taken a few shots of my favorite pages and laid them out below (sorry, no way I'm ruining the book's spine to scan pages).

From the section on Bruno Frisoni:

Minna Parikka:

Pierre Hardy

Michel Vivien:

Purchase info available here.


I do love pocket watches...dangling from my neck

I've always loved pocket watches because they're just so charming in a quaint, Victorian kind of way. Sadly, I have no clue about how to actually wear pocket watches and am mildly afraid of appearing obnoxious if I decide to start sporting a fob chain or a Double Albert chain. Fortunately, the DIYers at Etsy and the hipster designers at Urban Outfitters have thought of turning the watches into pendants for necklaces. I think Etsy offers a more varied, creative selection and singled out Fink Gifts for the shop's wide collection and affordability (prices range from $25ish to $50ish).

A few examples of the shop's goods, including Alice in Wonderland watches:

Fink Gifts also offers steam punked watches with exposed gears, which I think are pretty charming.

A backview of the watch shown above:

Ok, in case you do want to wear a pocket watch like a dapper old gentleman, you might want to check out this link. If you just want to be dapper, maybe check out my earlier post on Fine and Dandy.


Spiders in my hair

What if clothes and accessories featuring animals and insects could function as magical talismans that summon real versions of the living things they depict? For example, a person wearing the Three Wolves One Moon T-shirt could actually produce three wolves (and maybe a moon) by making a simple wish.
What if I had a hairband with bejeweled and felt spiders on it and I accidentally trigger my accessory's magical power? I'd find spiders crawling all over my hair! Wouldn't that be terrible?!

Ok, I know I'm random and nuts.


Photoshop + Illustrator = deep-fried sex

Today, I checked the mail and heard angels singing as I opened my package. My student version of Adobe Creative Suite had arrived, and I immediately passed out from excitement. After waking up and laughing maniacally and pointing at the Gimp's icon on my desktop (a cartoon dog head), I popped in the Adobe installation disk. Never before have I felt more bliss while waiting for the download progress bar to reach 100%. In approximately fifteen minutes, the bar climaxed, spewing its digital glory into my hard drive (and my goodness, such a big load--6 gigabytes worth).

Not losing any time, I fired up Illustrator and Photoshop and produced the following:

I took my inspiration from a character design from Bioshock 2, a horror videogame. I don't play videogames at all but can spend hours drooling at the character designs, and it's natural for me to start getting ideas.

An image of the "Big Sister," the chief antagonist of Bioshock 2.

Why yes, my illustration looking nothing like the inspirational source! I'm going to tell myself that's OK and try to move on.

Of course, this drawing took me half the time I would have spent in the Gimp. I want to cleanse my computer forever of that stupid grinning dog head thingie, but sadly, many of my images can only open in the Gimp.


First finished illustration of 2010...

I've been lusting after thigh high boots for a while, but this is one trend I will just have to let pass. Those tall shafts tend to come with HIGH heels, and my wonky left ankle cries just at the sight of those four inch stilettos. Unfortunately, thigh highs with flat bottoms are just not my thing (they make me look like a stumpy troll).

So, I do what I always do. Make something I can't have mine by drawing it. (*SIGH*) And, here's the result:

A larger view is available here.

I love my black boots, but would love to see a few pairs that explode with color. This especially applies during winter, the time when New Yorkers are covered with black pea coats, black leggings and black boots. I love walking through the blend, murky pedestrian crowd during winter time and catching a bright spot of red or blue.

Close-ups of the textures I made using Gimp's "Galaxy" brush tool:

I liked the way that this piece turned out, but my hate for GIMP has solidified into a black hunk of stone wedged in my heart. As a gift to myself, I will make use of my student discount privilege and buy a damned copy of Adobe Creative Standard. I look forward to not having to deal with the Gimp's wonky kinks on my computer.

(On the other hand, maybe I shouldn't dump the Gimp just yet. My doctor informed me my blood pressure is on the lower end of normal, but the frustration of having to click the erase button ten times before seeing a difference has probably raised my blood pressure just a little.)

Anyway...happy 2010, peeps. :)


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