NEW YORK

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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

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...
 

THE LITTLE MERMAID

What girl DIDN'T grow up wanting to be a mermaid at some stage in her life? Looking at you, Ally, if you're reading this!
'The Little Mermaid' is one of the first Disney films that I remember seeing in the cinema. For years I was under the impression that I must have been at least 8 or so. But, no - I was 4! That's right - Disney's version of 'The Little Mermaid' was released in 1989!
You: Whaaaaat?
Me: I KNOW!
Needless to say, my earliest memories of the story were purely those of a sassy Sebastian, Flounder the guppy, and THAT scene which always made my Dad cry; when King Triton gives Ariel her legs back so she and Eric can get married and she whispers 'I love you, Daddy' before sailing off into the sunset. I know, Dad. It was emotional stuff.
So, imagine my HORROR when I first encountered the TRUE story of Hans Christian Anderson's 'The Little Mermaid'. You know, the one where she DOESN'T win the love of her prince (he marries someone else) OR get to keep her legs (they felt like walking on razor blades 24/7 FYI) but disappears instead into a cloud of sea foam, ceasing to exist.
Thanks, Ursula, you sea b*tch.
You can view a 1975 Japanese animation of the original story here. But, be warned - it's v.sad.
(But also kiiiiiiiiinda funny when her name translates simply to 'Princess Mermaid.')
This original ending does not a fairy tale make and just goes to show how sinister our favourite stories were before Walt got his magical, sugar-coated hands on them.
The final line from the 1975 re-telling goes thusly:
"Eventually, The Little Mermaid's soul was allowed to return from heaven to the sea, where it had dissolved to foam with the coming of dawn's first light. From that time on, through her story, the story of her love and her courage, she has guided the wayward hearts of men and so she shall, forever."
For this reason my version of 'The Little Mermaid' does not include a sassy sidekick, a singing crustacean, or even a well-coiffured Prince unable to reciprocate her love.
It focuses purely on the Mermaid herself, who, in my imagination, is something of a magpie of the sea; scouring shipwrecks in search of lost treasures and jewels. Of course in this instance they are sparkling gems of Chanel and Christian Dior, her tail wrapped in Tiffany & Co pearls.

Glittering prints are available in my store here: www.birdyandme.bigcartel.com

More mermaid-spiration below:

Jean Paul Gaultier S/S 2008 on display at the NGV, 2015

Jean Paul Gaultier S/S 2008 on display at the NGV, 2015

Lily Donaldson by Alexi Lubomirski, VOGUE Spain, 2012

Lily Donaldson by Alexi Lubomirski, VOGUE Spain, 2012

Kristen McMenamy by Tim Walker, W Magazine, 2013

Kristen McMenamy by Tim Walker, W Magazine, 2013

Lexi Boling by Laurie Bartley, Numéro China, 2014

Lexi Boling by Laurie Bartley, Numéro China, 2014

Kristen McMenamy by Tim Walker, W Magazine, 2013

Kristen McMenamy by Tim Walker, W Magazine, 2013

Daryl Hannah & Tom Hanks in Splash, 1984

Daryl Hannah & Tom Hanks in Splash, 1984

'Untitled' by Alix Malka. Jean Paul Gaultier S/S 2008.

'Untitled' by Alix Malka. Jean Paul Gaultier S/S 2008.

Alexander McQueen S/S 2012

Alexander McQueen S/S 2012

TRIUMPH BEAUTY-FULL WINDOWS

Earlier this year, I worked on quite a big project with design and art-direction agency, Neighbour UK,
for Triumph lingerie.
I illustrated what felt like squillions of individual blooms to be grouped into floral clusters - which have since been used to create floral window wonderlands in Triumph stores around the globe!
Peonies, roses, lilacs and more...

The images above were captured at the Triumph store in Milan, Italy. I love!
Illustrazioni di Kelly Smith has a nice ring to it I think....

If any of you happen to see the windows while you're out and about I'd love for you to post to Instagram and tag me in them!

Huge thanks to Neighbour for providing the imagery for this post and for asking me to be a part of such a lovely project.

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