Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Woman In Black loves fashion too!

  You all heard about Daniel Radcliffe's first post-Harry-Potter movie - a horror/thriller with a distinctive and stylish English elegance. A very opposite of what a typical American horror would be- loads of blood, screaming and ripping! No, Woman In Black is a very classic movie and very talented as well- it scares the whits out of you by unsolved mystery and suspense. I actually screamed in the cinema- something which NEVER happened before! The movie has been released in the cinemas in February 2012, and now on 22nd May we can finally obtain the DVD! That is how I got inspired to write this post!



  You are probably thinking "how is this movie related to our fashion craving?"! Simple- the Woman in Black, apart from being an evil haunting spirit, is still...a Woman! Therefore, I am suggesting to look at the poor lady from another perspective- the style perspective! 
  I personally do not have that many "black" outfits, except for a couple of office skirts and T-shirts. I am a very colourful person, but I do agree that "black" adds a kind of mystery to an outfit. It highlights you...in a dark kind of way! Like "black" or "dark" humour! You do not have to be a goth or a funeral guest to wear a stylish black dress, suit, etc. 
  There are various styles of "black" and every fabric gives it a new look (silk, satin, cotton, wool). However, I would say that black lace adds a very interesting feature to an outfit, making it look festive no matter the occasion! So let us take our Woman In Black for some shopping and dress her up into different styles and garments!

She doesn't have to wear long grandmother dresses! Knee-length or minis are so sexy!

And I bet she would love all the accessories she can add to her garments!


OR, she doesn't necessarily need to wear dresses! She can wear these!

Lace jackets- something different! Sporty and classy.

A sexy Burlesque corset would be cool too!

A skirt for work perhaps?

Here is an example of how real life ladies wear Black: Amanda Mullae from LookBook


Don't Look Down

Don't forget to visit Amanda's profile on the Fabulous LookBook.Nu and check out her Blog: Amanda's Memoranda

If our Woman in Black is still not convinced, let's show her how celebrities wear black dresses! 

I especially love how Sarah Jessica Parker wears it!

Kristen Stewart in her usual "Vampire" attire! 

Sexy Brits: flawless Emma Watson and Kate Middleton

That famous D&G lace dress that Britney wore in 2001 when she was blonde and young! How time flies!  

I could not help bringing to your attention this similarity between Rihanna and the illustrated red-head! 

So here how we turned a scary, screaming Woman in Black into.....

.....a sexy mysterious Diva! 

Dita Von Teese

If you missed the movie in the cinema, make sure you get the DVD! Enjoy!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

My Fashion Illustration Course

Hello dear friends!

  This week I have completed my Fashion Illustration course, which I started in February.
It has been an enjoyable & useful journey! Right now I will try to describe you my trip with the help of my illustrations!

 No, this was not what I achieved in the illustration class! This was a little task our instructor Kristina has given us in the very first session- to draw any kind of outfit in order to see at what level of "drawing" we all were. I have chosen to sketch my latest sewing project, inspired by a Retro dress from an Arabic TV Series Al Shahrourah, starring my dear Carole Samaha!
  I have taken drawing classes in my life, but somehow when it came to sketching "full-body" people and clothes, I had big problems with proportions!
  So the first thing we studied were the proportions and the construction of an "ideal" model figure. It all began with a stick-like figurine, explanations about measurements, rotating parts of the body, as well as appropriate directions in which the body can move.

Construction, Figurine, Figurine in a pose

 With the use of tracing paper, we would then sketch a rough outline of the body, using the stick-construction as the basis. Several adjustments and corrections would follow to make the figure look real and woman-like.
  In the next classes we learned how to move our figures. That involved moving the construction first in preferable poses and then again sketching the outline on a tracing paper.

 We then continued to the smaller details of the body- the face and its components, and hands & feet from all possible perspectives...

  After we completed our study of figure drawing, we moved on to clothes. We had to start with little but important details, such as, pleats, pockets, collars, ruffles, cuts, zippers, seams, neck-lines, and all variations an outfit may have.

  We then moved on to drawing whole clothing items, with all the different details we have learned, adding our own design ideas or something we have seen in magazines, or elsewhere! I have taken a lot of inspiration from the clothes that I had previously sewed or from the latest Movies & Shows I have watched (especially the hot new REVENGE!).
  And then finally we reached the colouring of the body and, eventually, clothes! As Kristina explained to us, there were 4 main colouring media used in Fashion Illustration: Wooden pencils, which could be either normal or watercolour, watercolour paints, pastels and markers. The latter is considered the most professional colouring media.

Watercolour Honey Paints from my home-country

  Kristina started with colouring the body and, firstly, showed how to use each method (type of paper, brushes, strokes, etc). I must note that when it came to markers, I was surprised to see such PALE shades- all skin colour and more! I have gotten used to luminous highlighters & children's markers, so never imagined that such variations existed!

Professional Markers by COPIC & outlining pens by Staedtler

  Eventually, we were left to ourselves to try everything and determine which was the best way for each of us. Only a few liked pastels due to the screeching sound of the Paper torchons, or blending instrument, the need to use a special eraser and of course the final step- coating the painting with a stinky spray fixative! A lot of risk of spoiling your work, not to mention the extra effort and hassle! However, in support of pastels, I will say that those who manage to master them achieve great final results.

Body colouring with Marker & Watercolour, respectively

  After trying everything, I decided that I was best at watercolour (may be due to my 2-year experience with Silk-Painting) and watercolour pencils. I enjoyed markers as well, but they needed more practice. Above you can see and compare my work.

  Finally, we arrived at the finale- colouring the figurine and the outfit she would be wearing. We have quietly watched as Kristina showed us the colouring & rendering of 2 dresses, which you can see below.
Design Illustrations by Kristina
  I got so excited that I went & purchased the full list of materials I needed straight after class. And that included a 60-shade watercolour pencils box! (I could not resist when I saw all these shades!)

Watercolour pencils by Faber Castell

  In the 1-week gap between the classes, I painted 3 models using either water paint & pencils or markers & pencils. The more I worked, the better I became at small details, such as face and feet. I decided to ignore the hands- that will need a separate practice program! In the last class, Kristina checked our "homework" and told us what we needed to correct in our drawings. You can see the "Before & After" below.

Sample design taken from class. The Flower Lady

Illustration based on another Maxi dress I made.

Flamenco Dancer

  I will conclude my post by showcasing my latest work, which is by "no-coincidence" an illustration of the same Polka Dress that I have showed you in the beginning! You may notice that I have definitely benefited from this amazing course! :D

Myself posing in my Retro inspired dress, followed by the primitive sketch, and concluded by a better version "post-illustration-class" sketch! 

Monday, May 14, 2012

My new profile @ LOOKBOOK.NU & a little P.S

Hello beautiful people!

  I have joined yet another Fashion community, which focuses more on the personal style- LOOKBOOK.NU.
The website allows its users to post their latest looks, tag their outfits, describe and promote their style! After being their only 2 days, I have found so many talented fashionistas! It always feels great to find similarly inspired  people, who take clothes seriously and not just as something to cover their body with!

  So, before I show off my latest look, I will share with you some impressive finds I made today! I have fanned quite a few people there, and below you can see my probably most favourite LookBook fashionista- Amanda Mullae (Follow the link to see Amanda's Full Profile)! 
(Check out Amanda's blog: http://amandasmemoranda.tumblr.com/)

You Don't Own Me

Let Me Sleep Beside You

  I will say this- I love everything in Amanda's looks, from the shortly styled, naturally brown hair, to the simple retro make-up (thin eyebrows + red lips + black eyeliner!), the creative titles she chooses for her  photos, and of course the Vintage style that she follows! I am a Vintage fan, so you can imagine how happy I must get when meeting people who promote the same! And it is so amazing that all of the outfits , despite belonging to the previous era, perfectly blend into the present! I will pause my praise to Vintage for now, as it is a huge subject for me and I myself have a lot to share.

Don't forget to check Amanda's LookBook profile here- Amanda Mullae 
Check out Amanda's blog: http://amandasmemoranda.tumblr.com/)


  So now I will write a little P.S to my previous blog PEACHY SUMMER ! If you remember, I have spoken about the obvious on-going colour trend among Fashion Brands & Designers! The next day my lovely Fashion instructor Kristina came into class wearing these amazing shoes of an Italian brand- Fratelli Rossetti. And guess what colour were they?

Fratelli Rossetti Leather Shoes

  Therefore, I decided to add a little bit of my own real-life example and post my latest outfit idea, which features a Coral eyelet lace top, that I have purchased a good 3 years ago, my ZARA floral pants, Forever21 bag, ZARA suede heels and an ethnic silver necklace that my father brought from his home-country of Yemen!

At the Beach Cafe (Courtesy of my close friend Sonia)

 Visit my LookBook Profile for more looks: Susanna Vesna.
 So as you can see, I will have a lot of photoshoots to attend in the near future! ;)
Have a great day!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Peachy Summer

Good day dear friends!

  Firstly, I would like to let you know that I have joined this amazing Fashion Community, called Fashiolista! It is a kind of a pretty database, where you can keep things you found in any online shop, by clicking a heart-shaped button. Moreover, whatever you and other fashiolistas "loved" is shared, making it a virtual fashion exchange! I have been registered there only a couple of days, and already found so many amazing clothes, shoes and accessories. It is a great source of information and style inspiration! Carrie Bradshaw WOULD LOVE it! ;)

  Now let's get back to my post (which was inspired by my finds on Fashiolista and other on-line shops!)...

  After a few physical and virtual shopping trips, I have noticed the domination of particular colours. I guess you can call it a trend. Peachy-orange is the most standing-out of them all! I would say the colour-palette below is a summary illustration of what is IN this Spring/Summer season!

  I have visited the famous On-line shop called Net-A-Porter and scanned through various high-street brands, who are usually to blame for trends and pace in fashion. To my surprise every brand I have selected had its first items in various shades of the peachy-orange palette. Of course it could be a coincidence, or may be every trend is displayed in that way- I honestly don't know! (Haven't visited the website often to notice).

So let's cut the talk and get to the clothes!   

LANVIN drape dress
MIU MIU belted cotton-linen shirt dress

 Alice+Olivia is a new brand for me! Although I am not a fan of girly colours, their pink-peach colour scheme  has left me happy.

The colour trend hasn't ignored the accessories either! CHLOÉ has all types of handbags, clutches, belts, wallets, even iPad cases in Orange and Peach shades.  

The scalloped triangle bikini of carrot colour and golden edges is a bomb!

  In my opinion, the pleated dress of a tri-colour pattern has become CHLOÉ's signature design! I have seen so many photos of this dress and other variations from the runway. I find it quite interesting!

As you can see, CHLOÉ probably has the widest range of clothing and accessories items in the discussed colours! And they are all so beautiful!  

 After Net-A-Porter I visited the brands website and checked their Spring/Summer 2012 Look Book! And there too- Peach and Orange were blossoming! 
Sporty co
Leather, perhaps for work or an outing

Sequins skirt and blouse would look mysteriously romantic in the dark! And this suit is a beautiful choice for a day at the office!

Of course there was no way to miss GUCCI...

I especially love the Orange leather dress!

JIL SANDER was also a discovery for me. After I have seen a photoshoot for the brand in Vogue, I have been intrigued. The brand has chosen peach shades.

 LANVIN chose to add more pink and dark carrot to the mix, adding maroon and dark raspberry here and there.

MILLY has pleasantly surprised me with a cotton handbag, with a poppy field! I love poppies!

  So as you have seen in this post Orange, Peach, Carrot and Coral are trending at the moment! However, I always say that following a trend is not a must! No matter how much you love fashion, you don't have to run to the nearest shopping destination and fill your wardrobe with numerous items of these colours! 
Remember to be different!