NEW YORK

NEW_YORK_BLOG.jpg
NEW_YORK_SHOP.jpg

I was recently asked by the Mandarin Oriental New York to share my ideal way to spend 24 hours in NYC which led me to re-visiting some of my favourite places in the Big Apple (even if only mentally.)
It also inspired me to pick up on my travel series again (which featured previously Paris, Italia, London and Tokyo) and you can find this print in my shop now by clicking here.
I took my inspiration from the beautiful Flatiron district - a definite MUST if you're in NYC - home of incredible eats (Shake Shack, Eataly, Taco Taco), Washington Square Park, and also the best place to start a walking tour of lower Manhattan;
East Village - SoHo - West Village - ending on the High Line / Meatpacking District.

View more of my faves in the shots below. (I don't think I've ever shared these...?)

Flatiron

Flatiron

Chrysler Building / Grand Central Station

Chrysler Building / Grand Central Station

Brooklyn

Brooklyn

East Village

East Village

SoHo

SoHo

West Village / High Line

West Village / High Line

Saks Fifth Avenue

Saks Fifth Avenue

Bryant Park / Around the World Fashion Magazines & Books

Bryant Park / Around the World Fashion Magazines & Books

Views of Central Park from the Top of the Rock

Views of Central Park from the Top of the Rock

PINK PRADA DISCO BALLS

I spotted these Prada (SS '16) earrings in a magazine a few years ago while making a mental note to include them in an illustration because they were just so. damned. fun.
In classic Kelly style, it has taken me over two years to do just that. But, better late than never as they say!
These were the perfect baubles to add to my jewellery portfolio, if not to my physical collection - I'm not sure they're even purchasable anymore. Alas...

PRADA SS16 BACKSTAGE

PRADA SS16 BACKSTAGE

VOGUE JAPAN BEAUTY

BLOG_BEAUTY_WRINKLES_VOGUE_01.jpg

Some brand new work for Vogue Japan!

Excuse me for one second while I gush about something...
Aside from the obvious – my intense love for Japan itself – this edition of Vogue has always been one of my favourites. Mainly for their unique take on fashion, but also for their unwavering support of illustration. It's something of a rarity these days to find illustration used frequently throughout any one issue of a magazine, yet Vogue Japan do it EVERY MONTH.
I love – and applaud – it!

I was so thrilled to work on these beauty illustrations for the September issue – on stands now.
Featuring a bevvy of beauties taking the appropriate steps toward flawless skin; nutritious smoothies, gentle massage and face creams.
There were also additional illustrations on the following pages, covering four different face shapes and the best skin care routine for each.

If you want to get your hands on a copy, Vogue Japan can be purchased via this link to Amazon JP HERE. I very frequently purchase my fave Japanese titles (of which there are many) this way.

SIDE NOTE
Can we take a moment to appreciate this insane cover? Original noughties Supers dressed head to toe in Prada = ICONIC.
I could not have fluked a more flawless issue to be asked work on.
I just had to share some of my faves from the shoot by Luigi & Iango below:

Photographed by Luigi & Iango, Vogue Japan September 2017

Photographed by Luigi & Iango, Vogue Japan September 2017

Photographed by Luigi & Iango, Vogue Japan September 2017

Photographed by Luigi & Iango, Vogue Japan September 2017

Photographed by Luigi & Iango, Vogue Japan September 2017

Photographed by Luigi & Iango, Vogue Japan September 2017

Photographed by Luigi & Iango, Vogue Japan September 2017

Photographed by Luigi & Iango, Vogue Japan September 2017

Photographed by Luigi & Iango, Vogue Japan September 2017

Photographed by Luigi & Iango, Vogue Japan September 2017


Image Credits:
Photographer: Luigi & Iango
Styling: Anna Dello Russo
Models: Anna Ewers, Doutzen Kroes, Joan Smalls, Lara Stone, Natasha Poly & Vittoria Ceretti
Hair: Luigi Murenu
Make Up: Yumi Lee
Nails: Sara Alaimo

RODARTE PARIS COUTURE

RODARTE.JPG
WIP.JPG
BACKSTAGE.jpg
DETAIL.jpg
BACKSTAGE_02.jpg
SHOW_01
BACKSTAGE_03.jpg
SHOW_02

It felt quite fitting after re-watching 'Black Swan' this past weekend, drooling over those stunning Rodarte costumes, that I should wake up on Monday morning to see images from their debut show at Paris' Couture Fashion Week (their first away from their native NYFW).
There were so many stand-out moments, it was hard to choose which images to include in this post. But, all I can say is, if ever there was a collection that embodied everything I love about fashion, it's this one. Feathers, florals, bows and tulle. I love it all! Ethereal beauties adorned with babies breath, floating through a garden in full bloom.
I did choose one of the softer options to illustrate (No pink! Shocking!) as I wanted to focus on colours closer to nature.


Rodarte Spring 2018 photographs © Kelly Taub + Giovanni Giannoni / WWD

BEAUTY & THE BEAST

It's come to the point in my fairy tale collection where I've started saving the best for last.
While it's so hard for me to play favourites, as so many different stories appeal to me for different reasons, 'Beauty and the Beast' is one of those stories that just gives me butterflies.
Admittedly, it's a tale that I never connected with until I saw the Disney adaptation in 1992. Prior to that, I think I had seen an 80s soap-style version that starred Linda Hamilton – which didn't exactly grip me. Of course, we can never forget Shelley Duvall's 'Faerie Tale Theatre.'
However, from the very first moment I laid eyes on that shiny, big screen and listened to a host of villagers sing 'Bonjour!' to each other I was hooked. I still vividly remember turning to my Mum half-way through 'Be Our Guest' and requesting we 'buy this on video as SOON as it comes out!'
It was love.
Over the past 25 (gulp!) years I have devoured other editions of the story - most notably the French live-action film starring Léa Seydoux as Belle and Vincent Cassell as the Beast.
This version is much more in keeping with the original tale and I highly recommend watching it. It's visually stunning.
I also have to make mention of Disney's current live-action remake. I admit - I've already seen it three times. On first viewing I wasn't sure what I thought of it, having already seen (and loved) such a high quality live-action version of the story, but also being so familiar with the original 1992 version.
However, on subsequent viewings, I was able to take it in without any pre–conceived ideas and just enjoy it for what it was.

I digress! Back to the illustration. I started my interpretation of this story almost a year ago!
I had some initial ideas of how I wanted to capture it in illustrated format, but I kept putting it off, wanting the idea to have time to grow if needed - and I was never entirely happy with what I was doing. To try to encapsulate such a delicately beautiful and layered story into just one image is not as easy as it sounds. There are so many themes within 'Beauty and the Beast' - not just the love story between Belle and the Beast, but also those of jealousy, greed, materialism and the superficial manner in which we can judge each other. There was also the symbolic nature of the rose.
Some interpretations of the original tale by Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve are quite grotesque. Others are beautiful, and opulent. I think we all tend to associate fairy tales with the fantasy of royalty and beauty. However, they always hark back to darker roots; stories created to scare children into making good moral choices. Which is why it can be so hard to truly depict each story.
But, strip it all back and no matter which way you look at it, this story is ultimately about love; lost, platonic, coveted, and deep, true love. Which is why I decided to focus my illustration on the enigmatic rose at the heart of the story - with a side of couture as always.
Depending on which version you want to read into, the rose symbolises the Beast's love for his previous wife; his grief and guilt at her death which was (inadvertently) caused by his own callous and beastly nature, but also the love that Belle's father feels for his daughter, as it is this rose that he plucks from the Beast's garden to give to Belle when he returns home. A rose is what Belle covets most, when all of her sisters crave jewels and finery. In the Disney version, the rose is a physical reminder of the Beast's curse, representing the time he has in which to break the curse that befalls him, before the last petal falls.
One of my favourite parts of researching this tale was seeing how their relationship is depicted in different variations of the story. I wanted to focus on the progression of their relationship, and in doing so fell back into the original tale. Belle, having taken the place of her father, sits down to an opulent dinner with the Beast each night. After every meal he asks her to marry him, a proposal she refuses. However, gradually, as she begins to know him, and to feel empathy and gratitude toward him for the kindness that he shows to her, she starts to see his true character beneath the beastly guise, and falls in love with him.
Chic as ever, dressed in Chanel-inspired lace, Belle and a Versace-clad Beast are ensconced inside the glass cloche, standing amongst opulent candelabras and the peony roses that represent their budding love affair.

The latest in the collection, 'Beauty and the Beast,' is available in my store now in limited A3 + A2 editions until sold out.

SHOP HERE: www.birdyandme.com.au/shop

More Beauty and the Beast inspiration below:

Drew Barrymore by Annie Leivobitz for Vogue (US)

Drew Barrymore by Annie Leivobitz for Vogue (US)

La Belle et la Bête, 2014 - Pathé Films

La Belle et la Bête, 2014 - Pathé Films

Karen Elson photographed by Tim Walker, Love Magazine, 2013

Karen Elson photographed by Tim Walker, Love Magazine, 2013

Beauty & the Beast, photographed by Giampaolo Sgura, Magazine Antidote, 2011

Beauty & the Beast, photographed by Giampaolo Sgura, Magazine Antidote, 2011

Kate Moss by Tim Walker, Vogue Italia, 2015

Kate Moss by Tim Walker, Vogue Italia, 2015

Beauty and the Beast, 2017 - Walt Disney Pictures

Beauty and the Beast, 2017 - Walt Disney Pictures

Alexander McQueen. Savage Beauty

Alexander McQueen. Savage Beauty

THE MET GALA 2017

It's that time of the year again! The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Costume Institute Gala, where the best (and worst) of fashion and celebrity circles come together to raise money and unveil the newest exhibition at the Costume Institute - as well as, let's be honest, strutting their stuff on the ONLY red carpet that leaves room for self-expression and a bit of theatricality.
This year's exhibit “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between" set the night's theme of avant-garde, and while some attendees nailed the brief (looking at you Solange Knowles, Rihanna, Stella Tennant, Ruth Negga and Katy Perry) many opted for the traditional, yet slightly edgy, designs that we've come to expect from the Met Gala.
In my opinion, this year's theme was going to be hard for a lot of the celebrity guests to truly nail. Avant-garde calls for risky, daring, experimental looks - it's wearable art. But most celebrities and their stylists will always stick to their own personal style, trying to incorporate the theme where they can.
On that note, I wanted to share some of my favourites from the night.
I, personally, prefer structural, elegant, pretty gowns. So it should be no surprise that some of my faves didn't necessarily nail the brief! But here we go, in no particular order:

Lily Rose Depp in Chanel. For me this look was 100% Met Gala Barbie and I absolutely loved it! So much so that I absolutely HAD to stop what I was doing and draw it.

Lily Rose Depp in Chanel. For me this look was 100% Met Gala Barbie and I absolutely loved it! So much so that I absolutely HAD to stop what I was doing and draw it.

Rihanna in Comme des Garçons. One of the few who wore the label of the honour! RiRi could wear a bed sheet and somehow pull it off. I love that she is never afraid to experiment on the red carpet, and BIG looks are something we've come to expect from her.

Rihanna in Comme des Garçons. One of the few who wore the label of the honour! RiRi could wear a bed sheet and somehow pull it off. I love that she is never afraid to experiment on the red carpet, and BIG looks are something we've come to expect from her.

Zoë Kravitz in Oscar de la Renta. This was gothic meets sophisticated princess. My fave combination.


Zoë Kravitz in Oscar de la Renta. This was gothic meets sophisticated princess. My fave combination.

Kylie Jenner in Versace. Say what you want about the Kardashians/Jenners, but I loved Kylie's look. So much texture, and that fringe!

Kylie Jenner in Versace. Say what you want about the Kardashians/Jenners, but I loved Kylie's look. So much texture, and that fringe!

Fei Fei Sun in Alberta Ferretti. One of my FAVOURITE models, and a look that really paid elegant homage to the theme of the night! Love.

Fei Fei Sun in Alberta Ferretti. One of my FAVOURITE models, and a look that really paid elegant homage to the theme of the night! Love.

Liu Wen in Off-White. I shouldn't love a denim gown, but I do.

Liu Wen in Off-White. I shouldn't love a denim gown, but I do.

Let me know your faves in the comments!

Images via Vogue.Com

CLARINS FLORAL BEAUTY

Last year I had the pleasure of working, again, with Clarins Australia on a series of floral-inspired imagery for their Winter '17 gift promotion. (You might remember our previous collaboration, but if not, click HERE.)
Taking inspiration from key product notes of Rose, Chamomile, Lavender and Hydrangea, as well as the incredible natural beauty of some of the most intoxicating places in the world, we came up with a series of colourful, blooming beauties exclusive to different retail partners to display in store throughout the past few months.

See below for the current "Pink" image, which you can see in-store at Myer this week, along with the other floral fantasies. (I think my fave might be the basket full of daisies AKA happiness!)

PINK - The chic London Florist with an armful of David Austin roses.

YELLOW - The Summery Sunday bike-rider in Primrose Hill with a basket full of daisies.

RED - The sophisticated shopper with a box of classic roses in the signature Clarins hue.

BLUE - The lady on vacanza, soaking up the Italian sunshine, surrounded by sparkling water and hydrangeas in the brightest azure blue.

PURPLE - The Provençal flower farmer in a rolling Lavender field.

VANITY

I had originally intended this piece to be something of a throwback to my 2009 illustration 'Scented' - one of my most popular prints ever - a 'Scented 2.0' if you will.
It quickly evolved, however, into more a still life featuring some of my favourite beauty products; scented in more than ways than one!
Aesop's 'Resurrection Aromatique' hand balm, which smells so delicious I could eat it, is also secretly used by my husband (I'm a regular ol' wikileaks over here!)
My 'Baies' candle from Diptyque has long since burnt out, but using it as a vase for the most fragrant of peonies is another way to admire its beautiful design.
Also featured are Charlotte Tilbury's 'Very Victoria' - hands down the best nude/beige-rose lipstick - and Chanel's 'Coco Mademoiselle.' I find so many Chanel perfumes too strong for my senses, and as much as I would love to say I was a fan of the iconic 'No.5' it's just too overpowering for me. 'Mademoiselle' is by far my favourite; powdery and soft, but also a little bit sexy.
My other go-to is BYREDO's 'Bal D'Afrique.' I first discovered BYREDO a few years ago while browsing the beauty department at Liberty London where I was immediately seduced by the edgy beauty of 'Rose Noir' and wore it, quite literally, every single day until it ran out. When I popped into a store to re-purchase it I tried 'Bal D'Afrique' on a whim, and I jumped ship faster than you can say 'WRAP IT UP, WENDY!'
As you can see from the image above, although not featured in the illustration, I am also a huge fan of Charlotte Tilbury's beauty products. I was converted on a visit to their counter when I purchased ol' Vic and was given a few samples of 'Magic Night Cream,' which is one of the best products I have used for my skin - and even better, it can do its thang while I sleep!
I also use CT for my brows, lashes, and even my highlighter/bronzer combo. ALL OF THE THINGS.

Anyway, none of this is sponsored, just heavily endorsed by my face and skin!
I do hope you enjoy this latest illustration, along with a peek at what's on my vanity.
It did start out as 'Scented 2.0' I promise. But what's a CT lipstick and classic white peony between friends?!
'Vanity' is available as a limited edition print in my store here: www.birdyandme.com.au/shop