fashion illustration of claire on outlander

claire from outlander illustration

Much of Outlander’s attention right now is because of its super hot sex scenes with the main couple, Claire and Jamie. But there is just as much to talk about when the characters have their clothes on.

Terry Dresbach, the shows costume designer, talks here about eight of her favorite looks on the show. Not surprisingly, Claire is on that list four times. I drew her in one of my favorite looks of hers, a gorgeous deep teal bodice and plaid skirt.

Claire has so many different looks on the show, but they are only made up of a few different items mixed and matched. The idea is that Claire has limited clothing given to her, and she wears those items over and over in different combinations.

I could learn a lesson or two from Claire on how to mix it up with a smaller wardrobe, and on how to wear a bodice like a boss.

Here’s a video on some of my coloring process.

illustration of vin from mistborn, at a ball

vin from Mistborn

Vin is a survivor. She is resourceful and smart, overcoming beatings on the street to become a valued member of a thieving crew. Vin is a fighter, no matter if she’s stealing from the rich or dancing among them.

There were a lot of things I love, love, loved about Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn: The Final Empire, the first in the Mistborn trilogy, besides the main character, Vin. The storytelling is complex and layered, the world is detailed and interesting, and the characters are human and tragic.

Within the great story and characters, Sanderson used clothing to help build his world. A uniform helped unite an army, a cloak for the magical Mistborn helped them hide in plain sight, and a dress helped Vin spy on the nobility.

She didn’t need shadows or corners–she just needed a mask of sapphires, makeup, and blue fabric. — Mistborn: The Final Empire

With make up on her face instead of ash, and a shawl on her shoulders instead of her Mistborn cloak, Vin infiltrated the nobility by attending ball after ball. And instead of seeing a streetwise thief, the nobility was blinded by her dress and saw instead a nobleman’s daughter.

Fashion is the armor to survive the reality of everyday life – Bill Cunningham

In our world, clothing and fashion works much the same way. I don’t usually need to spy on nobility at fancy balls, but I do need to convince people I’m a professional at work. So like Vin, I dress the part and it helps fortify me for the role I need to play.

The more Vin acts like Valette, her noble persona, the more she realizes that this confident noblewoman is just another side of her. But becoming more comfortable among the people she means to eventually fight–and actually seeing them as human–causes trouble for Vin and her crew as they plan a heist bigger than any they’ve tried before.

I drew Vin going to her first ball, when she realized that the dress and makeup were just another disguise she could hide beneath. The drawing is pen and marker. I would have liked to make her dress a lighter, dreamier blue, but I wanted to work with the markers I already own. I can’t wait to take a look at some of the other uniforms and clothing in Mistborn, and delve into some of the great parts of this complex story.

weddington way october style challenge

Bright bridesmaid

I love talking about weddings. I am definitely the friend to turn to if you want to talk flower arrangements or bridesmaid dresses, or seating charts, or veils, or just about anything else. Maybe because the weddings I have been involved in have all been chill and wonderful, and maybe because I have never been married, but wedding planning has yet to send a shiver down my spine. I am stoked, always, to talk about your wedding. Especially if it’s discussing what someone is wearing.

So when Weddington Way invited me to participate in their October Style Challenge, I was all in. Designing my own bridesmaid look? Sounds like a blast. You can see their current bridesmaid collection here.

weddington way bridesmaid dress

I started with the Alfred Sung D462 bridesmaid dress in French Gray. I love gray, and I wear it all the time. I love how versatile it is–you can basically dress it up any way you want. And I usually want to set it off with something bright.

In my (fake) wedding, the bride likes classic–with a twist. Her colors are gray and yellow. Her bridesmaids are wearing gray with beautiful bright jewelry and accessories. But their make up and nails are a simple pale pink.

raes day sweddington way bridesmaid illustration

ralph lauren fashion illustration

ralph lauren fashion illustration

I love fashion week, even from afar. (It’s not like I went to shows when I was in New York anyway, so the separation’s pretty easy.) Looking at pretty things for inspiration and for fun will never get old for me.

This fashion week coincided with roughly the same time I got sick of everything in my closet. My new style inspiration Keri Russell has inspired me to pare things down to simple, cool basics. (I mean, she looks good, right?)

While runways tend to be known for going over the top, there’s still great inspiration to pull from if you keep your eyes open.

This look from Ralph Lauren is a wonderful example of simple and cool. A ribbed sweater and pants in the same color family are perfectly coordinated basics, and the bright yellow trench is a fun and surprising update to a classic wardrobe staple.

So this is what I’m aiming for these days: classy, simple, cool.

My illustration is pen and marker. I tried something a little different this time and used a sepia pen since my colors were light and bright. I like it! My video slideshow shows some of the coloring process.

I’m liking these videos, but practice will make perfect I suspect. What do you guys think?

illustration of melody from without a summer

illustration of melody from without a summer by mary robinette kowal

I am working my way backwards through Mary Robinette Kowal’s glamourist histories about one of my favorite literary couples, Jane and Vincent. (I started with the latest book in the series by happenstance, and I’m just going with it.) In Without a Summer (Kindle here), Jane and Vincent travel with Jane’s younger sister Melody to London to work (Jane and Vincent) and to find eligible bachelors (Melody). It is full of smart relationship drama that is true to the flawed but honest characters, which I totally love.

By honest, I don’t necessarily mean truth-telling. I mean that these characters are fully formed, believable, and make decisions that makes sense for who they are. This, in turn, makes every plot twist believable and the drama earned. (And for those averse to romance, there’s political and courtroom theatrics, along with a revolt brewing in the streets that was just as interesting and fun.)

It was a pleasure for me to spend more time with Melody in this book–her charm and beauty worked just as much on me as any man she met in London. It was also a pleasure to learn more about manners and clothes in the Recency Era, which Jane and Melody needed to use to their advantage if they were ever going to find Melody a good match.

In one particular outing, Melody was an icy blond vision in blue as she went ice skating at a party of the Prince Regent himself. Melody often donned a blue pelisse (sort of a coat for your dress) that set off her eyes, and with her hat and muff to guard against the cold, she was a vision.

My illustration is pen and markers, and my video slideshow shows a bit of my coloring process.

I can’t wait to keep reading about this family! Other posts on this series:

(I choose to write about this book on my own, though the links are affiliate.)

what i wore sketch

sketch of what i wore

An illustration of what I wore to work last week. Pen and marker. Shoes and necklace from Target. I can’t remember the source for the dress, but I think it was either Kohl’s or Macy’s.

Happy Friday! I thought we’d never get here.

illustration of characters from twin peaks

illustration of waitress from Twin Peaks

My final fashion illustration class was this week, and we displayed our final projects. We had to create five different figures, and I based mine off of Twin Peaks. (I’ve talked a little bit before about the great costumes in that show.) It is visually stunning, and using it as inspiration for my drawings allowed me to explore that world a little differently than I had before.

I focused a lot on using colors inspired by the show–so a lot of greens and browns. I love the quirkiness of the characters, so I made sure to include Dr. Jacoby’s glasses and, of course, the log lady’s log. All my illustrations are in pen and markers. (Markers are so fun–who knew! Like a giant, fancy coloring book.)

illustration of audrey from twin peaksillustration of dr. jacoby from twin peaksillustration of the log lady from twin peaksillustration of audrey from twin peaks

I will definitely keep drawing and practicing–I’m a little sad the class is over! You can see my other posts about this class here and here.