PRADA BEAUTY

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I've long followed the make-up legend that is Pat McGrath on Instagram, marvelling with stars in my eyes over her delectably inventive beauty looks for various design houses - be it during any given fashion week, or the editorial pages of a magazine.

One particular show captured my imagination during the Fall/Winter RTW showings - namely Prada - which saw beautiful tweed Winter coats breezing down the runway, paired with rubber boots, shockingly bright neon bows tied in tulle and brilliantly shiny diamanté cat eyes. It was a collection of beautifully ethereal, wet-haired aliens and I loved it!

I couldn't decide on any one look in particular as each girl varied wildly between outfit and beauty looks. So I combined my favourites to create the ultimate Prada girl!

I hope you like.

 PRADA RTW F/W '18 / via VOGUE UK

PRADA RTW F/W '18 / via VOGUE UK

 PRADA RTW F/W '18 / via VOGUE UK

PRADA RTW F/W '18 / via VOGUE UK

 PRADA RTW F/W '18 / via VOGUE UK

PRADA RTW F/W '18 / via VOGUE UK

SAINT LAURENT S/S 18

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Quick sketch of one of the gorgeous looks from Anthony Vaccarello's Spring/Summer collection for Yves Saint Laurent.
It was stunning. See some of my faves below.

The original sketch of this look is also available in my shop here.

 Saint Laurent SS 18

Saint Laurent SS 18

 Saint Laurent SS 18

Saint Laurent SS 18

 Saint Laurent SS 18

Saint Laurent SS 18

 Saint Laurent SS 18

Saint Laurent SS 18

 Saint Laurent SS 18

Saint Laurent SS 18

 Saint Laurent SS 18

Saint Laurent SS 18

Images via vogue.co.uk

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

RODARTE PARIS COUTURE

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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

DIOR COUTURE BEAUTY

 Christian Dior Couture SS'17 / via fasionista.com

Christian Dior Couture SS'17 / via fasionista.com

 Christian Dior Couture SS'17 / via vogue.co.uk

Christian Dior Couture SS'17 / via vogue.co.uk

Some quick beauty sketches from last week's Christian Dior Haute Couture show for Spring/Summer 2017. I had intended to get these up last week, but I was away and forgot to take the connection for my laptop so I was unable to finish them off until now! Whoops.
While Maria Grazia Chiuri's first Couture show for Dior was a little reminiscent of her ethereal work for Valentino, it was undoubtedly beautiful, feminine, and fantastically whimsical!
The stars! The florals! The incredible head pieces!
As soon as I saw it I was transported to the pages of a fairytale; a Midsummer Night's Dream or a Secret Garden.
Given my latest project, it was a given that I would have to capture some of it, albeit it quickly.

Stay tuned for another illustration based around one of Paris's biggest shows.
This one, however, is going into the storybook series and gracing a fictional femme...
 

CINDERELLA

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The latest in my fairy tale series, and perhaps one of the most widely treasured - 'Cinderella'!

For so many of us, 'Cinderella' (told by the Brothers Grimm and, perhaps most famously, Charles Perrault) is synonymous with Walt Disney's classic animated film. Along with 'Snow White' it was one of the studio's very first in a long line of fairy tales.
We're so familiar with that 'Bibbity Bobbity Boo' scene, the stunning score, and that beautiful scenery (envisioned by the wonderful concept art of Mary Blair).

While Disney's version is so vivid in our memories, I wanted to focus less on the ball and the Prince, and more on Cinderella herself.
Of course those shoes makes a precious cameo, but it's all about that glorious gown and the transformation from rags to ravishing beauty. The birds and mice are getting her dressed and she's just about to throw that god-damned broom away.
In true fashionista style, our Cinderella proves that sometimes all it takes to improve your day is a killer pair of heels and a beautiful dress! Sure, you might have to sweep a few floors, but you'll feel pretty darn good doing it.

'Cinderella' is available now in a limited edition of 40 A3 prints, and 15 A2 prints, in my store here:
www.birdyandme.bigcartel.com
I hope I've done her justice!

View some of Disney's original 'Cinderella' concept art by Mary Blair (because I love it so much!) and a gif of THAT transformation below.

 Artwork by Mary Blair for Walt Disney

Artwork by Mary Blair for Walt Disney

 Artwork by Mary Blair for Walt Disney

Artwork by Mary Blair for Walt Disney

CINDERELLA

HYFASHION AT GRAND HYATT MELBOURNE

 HyFashion Stationery Suite, photographed by Gemma Watts

HyFashion Stationery Suite, photographed by Gemma Watts

 Brooke Meredith in Con Ilio for the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, photographed by Neiyo Sun

Brooke Meredith in Con Ilio for the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, photographed by Neiyo Sun

 Brooke Meredith in Con Ilio for the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, photographed by Neiyo Sun

Brooke Meredith in Con Ilio for the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, photographed by Neiyo Sun

 Designer, Con Ilio, and Brooke Meredith in Con Ilio for the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, photographed by Neiyo Sun

Designer, Con Ilio, and Brooke Meredith in Con Ilio for the Grand Hyatt Melbourne, photographed by Neiyo Sun

I recently had the honour of working with the incredibly luxurious Grand Hyatt Melbourne on their Spring fashion campaign, HYFASHION, in collaboration with Australian designer, Con Ilio;
celebrating the iconic beauty of the 'Paris' end of Collins St, Melbourne's premiere shopping precinct, and home of the hotel.
Incorporating the stunning pink 'Charlotte' gown with its hand embroidery and signature camouflage print designed by Con himself, we wanted to create the image of a bold and confident woman; the personification of Melbourne's celebrated fashion and design scene.
As a huge fan and admirer of Haute Couture, working with a designer championing the very specific and intricate methods of creating such gowns was a dream.

During the course of the promotion, guests can book a very special 'HY FASHION' package which includes, with a luxury stay at this beautiful hotel, an exclusive stationery suite (designed by me), High Tea for two in Collins Kitchen, and a one-on-one consultation with Con Ilio.

To book a stay at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne visit the website HERE.

THUMBELINA


I can't describe how inspired I was by last week's visit to the Viktor & Rolf exhibit at the NGV in Melbourne.
One gown in particular struck a huge cord with me, along with this quote the boys had left on the wall at the exit;
"We design clothes that look like they were made by the birds in Cinderella."
UM, YES!
I feel like this idea encapsulates everything that is so whimsical and beautiful about fashion - and, in particular, Haute Couture.
These gowns are less about wearability and so much more about the fantasy of a character or mood, lending themselves so beautifully to that sort of suspension of disbelief we adopt when we read our favourite fairy tales. Which is exactly what I'm trying to achieve with this series of work.

Currently working my way through my favourite childhood stories, that quote paired with the stunning ribbon gown from
Viktor & Rolf's 2005 'Flowerbomb' collection really resonated when it came to my next effort - 'Thumbelina.'
It's probably quite clear to everyone how much the story and concept of 'Thumbelina' influences my work - just in my approach to scale, alone!
So, when tackling my illustrated version of this little lady I wanted to bring her into the world of fashion and have her 'mother' be a Parisien dressmaker; one who would create a gown for her from scraps of fabric and off-cuts from the floor.
Of course this particular gown was unbelievably fitting to my idea and as soon as I saw it in the exhibition I knew it was The One.
The mouse is also a nod to one of my childhood heroes, Beatrix Potter. After all, the mice in the building would no doubt help Thumbelina's mother stitch this beautiful gown!

I think this has to be my new favourite of the series <3

See more 'Thumbelina' inspiration below:

 Lily Cole by Tim Walker for VOGUE Italia, 2005

Lily Cole by Tim Walker for VOGUE Italia, 2005

 Andressa Fontana by Amanda Pratt for Karen, Issue 12

Andressa Fontana by Amanda Pratt for Karen, Issue 12

 The Tailor Mouse by Beatrix Potter

The Tailor Mouse by Beatrix Potter

 Viktor &amp; Rolf, Spring/Summer 2005

Viktor & Rolf, Spring/Summer 2005