Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Circle My Heart, Cinch Me Up (workwear)

When you consider Betty Suarez of Ugly Betty a true style icon, that officially puts you in the realm of a pattern aficionado.  I am one of those people who gravitate towards patterns, usually the more garish, vintage vibe the better and as a result, a whole lot of my basics including one of my favorite long coats which regular people tend to buy in neutrals is...purple pinstriped with yellow with large buttons reminiscent of Victorian menswear with a detachable mauve fur collar.

Today I went with a little bit of a 70s throwback with this adorable jersey knit dress that my mom had the good taste to pick up over 5 years ago on my first, and (so far,) only trip to Shanghai, China.  I didn't plan it but as I was putting this outfit together I realized it matched perfectly with my OPI nail polish and the bag I carry my laptop/tablet/all my shit in to work everyday as well.  I guess it's hard not to match when the pattern on the dress is about five different colors.  Just to tone down the colors a bit, I went with neutral shoes, and the same beige jacket on top to keep it classy and work appropriate.  Completely off topic: can anyone else believe it's August already?!!  It's crazy that 2012 is officially 3/4 over already!
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A quick little sketch: I enjoyed doing the last two in the last post so much that I think I'm going to keep it up as a challenge for myself.  One super fast 30min snap-shot style sketch per day (or atleast, per post hopefully)! 
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beige corduroy coat : vintage
70s print jersey knit dress: boutique in Shanghai
red cashmere scarf : gift
belt: unbranded, online
bag: SM Department Store
pyramid ring, diamond chandelier earrings: EQUIP
grey booties: Charlotte Russe

x
Anni

Nutshell 01

No time to take pretty photos for a couple of days due to bloody miserable weather issues and general busy-ness but here's a little peek into the last two weeks, a fun little attempting-to-make-rain-look-fun sketch and a big THANKYOU SO MUCH I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY SO I DREW THIS INSTEAD sketch for the lovely Laura of Horrible Lauren (check out her blog, marvel at her gorgeous gingerbread wedges that I loved so much I had to order a pair for myself)....because I just won this gorgeous thrifted sequinned jumper from her!   
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In A Nutshell: Beautiful interior of Tango (a gorgeous vintage store), accessories haul @ Equip, new flats, printed tights @ Glassons Winter sale, late mornings at Durham St, cryptic poster stickers, pork katsu @ Renkon, storefronts capitalizing on London Olympics despite it being held on the other side of the world (although, admittedly, perfect visual merchandising going on), eating pork katsu out at Renkon,  $1 coffee on Grind-On-High which made my day because they come with free Jaffas which are the best chocolate covered lollies in the world.

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Finally a here's a quick sketch to rainy days.  May they come less and look half as pretty as this picture instead of drenching my tights and making them smell like wet cat.  A girl can dream, right?
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x
Anni

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Stirrings From Hibernation

Well, it's official.  My ass is still freezing on most days, it still rains far too much for my liking and I am still consistently wearing three layers to head outside but from the end of winter clearance and the emergence of spring lines... it's that time of year where those light layers start sneaking their way back in under winter coats.  I thought I'd give everyone a little peek at the gorgeous two-tone blouse I was wearing under my sweater in the last post.  The lighting changes the color a little from the last photo set, but it's closer to a turquoise shade than aqua in real life.  The design is pretty different from all the standard blouses out there and I love it for doing that.  As you can see, the front has a delicate little cutout, and the back is equally perfect because the back is split with a layer of the turquoise under.

Pastels are always such a girly look for me, so I kept cozy with a trusty knit coat, a pair of tights that are far warmer than they look and a pair of two-tone beige shorts because I just like my neutral too damn much this winter.  Just as a tip, black tights + black wedges are my number one tool to looking talk despite being a fairly petite 5"4, it makes your legs seem like they stretch all the way down to your toes streamlining your body. 

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These two shots were taken a little later with slightly different lighting so they don't fit as well with the set. I didn't want to put them in but I felt like I had to show you the perfection that is my new blouse.  I mean - look at that back!  
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knit jacket - Shanghai
two tone blouse - MD Fashion
shorts - unknown korean label
tights - Glassons
wedges - Charlotte Russe

x
Anni

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Color Me (Almost) Athletic

Happy Olympic Ceremony watching guys!  Figured I'd do my version of a sports inspired look which translated to my classic, preppy/retro vibes meant piling on stripes, bold colors and pleather.  I probably could've gone to a more traditional interpretation but I was kind of dying to debut my leather look skirt from Glassons I got over two weeks ago on my blog :)  Honestly?  Glassons has hit the roof lately with everything they've come out with.  I have just been hauling back bucketloads of stuff from their winter sale racks because, lucky for me the seasons will be reversed when I head back into the states and I won't have to wait a whole year to whip them out.  What is currently making my day right now is the amazing selection of patterned tights they have right now and especially their faux-thigh-high print ones.  I'd been looking all over for a good pair so I was absolutely stoked when I found so many kinds at Glassons.  This is my second pair so far and I'm really tempted to consider a few more.

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ALSO, I can't believe it's taken this long for my favorite pair of casual wedges to appear. I got them at full price unfortunately (considering they were part of the massive Charlotte Russe clearance recently) but I absolutely don't regret it because they are comfortable, go with a awful lot considering there's color blocking and bright patterns going on. I've tucked leggings into them to streamline my legs, paired them with kimchi pleated schoolgirl skirts, with harem pants....pretty much everything. Just goes to show that staples don't have to come in neutrals all the time.
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color striped t-shirt dress: H&M
leather look skirt, tights: Glassons
blazer design hoodie: Valleygirl
print color block wedges: Charlotte Russe

x
Anni

Friday, 27 July 2012

Neutral Pop

Casual Fridays at work are where people generally turn to their good ol' basic jeans.  I know it sounds trite as a blogger to say "oh I never wear jeans", (not true, I do when I have to) but because I never wear mine enough to break them in they remain dreadfully uncomfy to wear.  Instead, my go-to casual are leggings and a oversized sweater, chuck on a classically cut jacket to go out, team with virtually any shoe possible with the exception of sneakers and you are good to go.  The thrifted sweater I'm wearing has already appeared on my blog before but I can't stress how much of a staple it is for me.  I pretty much wear this 24/7 when I'm back in my dorm, in a slip and essentially roll out of bed to get breakfast; if I had to wear one sweater for the rest of my life, this would be it.  I like to keep my main pieces fairly neutral for work, that way I can sneak in bolder pieces like these vertical leggings and statement shoes without going overboard.  Just to break up the neutrals palette I threw on a mint blouse under to get a little pop of springtime color and paired them with classic printed heels. 

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coat, striped leggings : vintage
glitter threaded sweater: thrifted
mint two-tone blouse: MD Fashion
 leopard print distressed platforms : F21

x
Anni

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Winter Bloom (workwear)

Is is possible to rock printed leggings to work?  Definitely.  The key is picking a pair with a darker base color, a) it'll help hide unattractive VPLs/bunchy wrinkles and b) the darker the legging, the more they look like pants which is a good thing unless you happen to be going for the throwback aerobics wear look.  I actually eyed up these gorgeous Glassons leggings when they first came out in March before I left and when I saw them at the winter clearance for only $12 (cheap in NZ) I had to buy them!  As a general rule for work, if I wear a bold printed item I balance it out with a good dose of neutrals, white and black, so I played it safe with my trusty black blazer that pretty much fits any look, yet another white blouse (the godsend of work wardrobes), a fairly sensible clutch and classic cut-out heels.  The white blouse is part of a brand-new haul that I got off taobao and I love how the beaded epaulettes on the shoulders give it little something extra.  Just a quick mention that this is the first time I have actually accessorized with the gorgeous collar necklace I got from the giveaway and just because it matched so perfectly, I had to throw on my chunky pyramid ring that is actually the exact same shade. 

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To save my feet from dying (a lesson I've learnt since hitting college where I actually walk everywhere), I always bring a pair of monochrome flats with me. My last tweed pair were getting a bit ratty so I picked up a brand new pointed pair from the same Glassons winter sale. Loving how the shape and metallic cap give anything they're paired with a touch of elegance. 

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black blazer - valleygirl
blouse - MD Fashion 
printed floral leggings, metallic tip flats - Glassons
clutch - unbranded
cutout platform heels - xcesori
ring - equip
collar necklace - giveaway

x
Anni

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

PR Series: Week 1

Another day, another piece.  I am kind of really impressed with myself because I usually never produce work I like so fast and so quickly which is definitely a good thing.  This is probably my favorite design illustration I have done so far and the improvement I see is kind of insane even when I compare myself with my work at the beginning of the year.  I don't plan on stopping with style experimentation though - settling for one look is really not for me.  Either way, I'm really excited to announce that I am now taking part in a weekly challenge based on the current season of Project Runway hosted by #Catwalk Challenge.  Pretty much we work on the same brief as the designers from week-to-week with eliminations, etc.  I'm going to be working with a more fluid sophisticated illustration style for the course of this project and I'm really excited to see where it will take me.   


Brief: Week 1
For this first challenge our contestants are to create a design that shows who they are as a designer. Are you more Avant Garde? Traditional? Even Retro? Do big bold patterns or cozy soft knits speak more of who you are? That is what we want to know. Speaking of wanting to know, since we can't do a whole one hour show introducing you, in the description of the first look (or both if they are combined), please, tell us how/why the design represents you.  But wait...
The show's contestants didn't only do one look so... You will have to create a companion piece, as well. You didn't think I'd let you off that easy do you? 


I love couture as much as the next fashion obsessed girl and I adore illustrating it but what I really love best is designing ready-to-wear.  In terms of design I tend to like cutouts, strong silhouette and structural forms, a mix of pastel and strong color with a tendency to veer towards the neutral and elaborate small pattern clashing.  For the first challenge I figured I would do a dreamy couture look, and of course, it's ready-to-wear translation.  

[Accessory wall: MARC BY MARC JACOBS -Snake Embossed Platform Pumps ]

x
Anni

Monday, 23 July 2012

Eggplant/Melon

I always seem to have a bit of a art-spasm in the last week of a month, this one especially because I'm counting down to the completion of two very special commission works of two lovely followers and also because to make sure I'm always generating new work and improving, I do a lot of contests and briefs just for fun which...are all usually due by the end of a month.  Of course.  For this month's Fashion Fever challenge (see brief here), the idea was to choose a one out of four pairs of delicious garden treats and create a 4-6 piece collection of it.  I love couture to death, but when I comes to design I prefer to do quirky chain-store ranges that I'd wear myself (I'm a little selfish like that).  This is the first time I've done a fashion illustration set with a catalog under and I really like how it looks.  I can't help but think of when I was twelve and obsessed with Stardoll.

Inspiration:
From Melon: melon skin laser cut print, watermelon squiggles/stripes, curly vine print and shape, green, beige, orange color template.
From eggplant, deep purple shades, gradient color, tulip shaped skirt.  

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close-up:
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WIP shots: 1) quick sketches which didn't scan so I was forced to use a screenshot of the scan screen hence the weird stick/dot thing in the center, 2) started off with simple outlines of the outfits, I didn't intend on lining in the face/legs until I got to the very end and decided to do it after all.

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x
Anni

The Sophisticated Kitty (Workwear)

A quirky red cat-print blouse from the lands of Jess (The New Girl) and grey blazer design hoodie aren't typically staples of appropriate office wear, but paired with sophisticated minimal accessories and tailored pants manages to stand out and still look elegant. When I dress for work, I try to make it 2 parts professional, with 1 part quirky/sexy/fun just to show I'm not taking myself too seriously, but just seriously enough.

This usually adorable collared blouse gets a sophisticated upgrade with a pair of high-waisted fitted pants and chunky neutral accessories.  I have a couple of more formal blazers but I didn't want to feel over dressed so I took off the detachable hoodie on a soft blazer-styled jacket to keep it structure and comfortable all at once.  The key to wearing a hoodie or more casual jacket as part of semi-formal look is to pick one that's fairly fitted, in neutral colors and of a soft, but still structured fabric.    I'm a bit on the petite side at 5"4, so I always try to make myself seem taller via optical illusion and heels - high-waisted is always my best friend when it comes to that and there is nothing like a pair of really well fitted pants to make my legs sky-scraper tall. 

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gray blazer-style hoodie(removed), snake-skin belt - ValleyGirl
cat print collared blouse - MD Fashion
black high-waisted pants - unknown
faux-snake-skin clutch, chunky rose pyramid ring - Equip
brown cuff - Cotton On

x
Anni

Sunday, 22 July 2012

Of Bead & Smoke

Been at least two weeks since I've finished a piece purely for own enjoyment because of commission work and y'know, LIFE in general.  I'm really branching out with style lately.   I guess I don't want to become fixed down to the way I used to draw and design permanently and eventually even though most people tell me the mark of a artist is to have one permanent look, I prefer a more master-of-all-trades approach to it all.  For this piece I wanted to mess around with implied line through color so the piece would look more cohesive and flow nicely versus looking like filled in line-art which admittedly was what I thought digital art was when I was 15.  Just to mark the 20s (with a bit of Cruella deVille twist = ultimate style icon apart from the killing small cute dogs), I figured I'd step away from a ultra feminine face and go for a more androgynous elegant look when it came to designing the figure.  This is first time I've stylized someone like this and I'm really pleased.

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Pretty much started off with a quick pencil sketch of the pose and general idea before filling in each section with a base color to separate out the different sections before I started working on shading and all the  fun little details that look nice, but are kind of a bitch to do.  Still, very well worth it in the end.
 
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