Monthly Archives: January 2013

Illustrated Gift Guide: Valentines for Him

January went by in a flash and before you know it Valentine’s Day will be here.  So, what to get him?  Here’s my illustrated gift guide to help you find the perfect gift for your guy.

valentine's day gift guide for the dapper gentleman in your life

pocket squares NeedSupply and $$ Bloomingdale’spersonalized cuff links $ Amazon, 2gb usb cuff links $$ Brookstone, crystal whiskey glasses Glencairn

If your guy is like V.Ng then you know he has good taste and a business-ready wardrobe.  He probably already owns a lot of cuff links or tie bars – so I loved these unique ones that offer fun utility and secret messages.

valentine's day gift guide for the pro techie in your life

leather iPhone case J.Crew (iPhone5), dodo case $$ J.Crew, ZaggKeys for iPad 2/3 $$ Amazon

If your beau is always on the go – he’ll definitely appreciate these sleek and manly tech accessories.  I love the use of classic materials, like leather and wood, for modern accessories.

valentine's day gift guide for the avid gamer in your life

Portal 2 $$ Amazon, Rayman Origins $ Amazon, x-box live points $$ Targetplaystation network $$ TargetBlackWidow gaming keyboard $$ Razer

Most guys (including V.Ng) can’t get enough of video games.  Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to fade away with age (my brother, 33, is still a gamer at heart.)  Show him you’re cool by encouraging him to ignore you for four hours straight.  Or, better yet, give him a fun co-op game you can enjoy together like Portal2 or Rayman Origins.  You’ll love them for the cute graphics and fun premises – he’ll love you for playing a video game with him.

valentine's day gift guide for the seasoned chef in your life

the French Laundry Cookbook Amazonknife block $$ Bloomingdale’sjuice fountain $$ Breville

If he’s always in the kitchen (lucky!) and loves trying the latest Michelin recommended secret – then  he won’t be able to resist trying his hand at some of Thomas Keller’s world famous dishes.  Another great gift (maybe a little more for yourself?) is my all time favorite juicer - it’s compact, sleek, easy to clean and comes with a recipe booklet.  For the price of three days of Blueprint – you could juice for the rest of your life!

I hope this helps you find that something special for your guy! And, I have more V-day inspired posts to come (like what to wear on your date or what he can get you.)  Thanks for viewing. <3

I Love My: GHD Gold Styler

So a couple of years ago I’m shopping with my (super-fab) friend and ask “where do you usually get your hair done?  The waves are so beautiful.”  She says “What?! No – I curl it every morning with my ghd.”  I’m like “Huh!? A what what?!  You do this every morning and it lasts all day!?!?”

illustration of my favorite ghd gold styling tool

Today’s Illustration:
ghd Gold Styling tool $$ Sephora

illustration of my favorite ghd gold styling tool

My hair is super straight.  You could spray it, curl it, sleep in a bun and in the morning – it will brush out straighter than dry spaghetti.  I know, I know – I shouldn’t complain.  But, I’m sorry – it gets boring!!

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Lots of Layering: My Winter Essentials

I don’t know why but I’ve been having a hard time getting out of bed.  (Maybe the trifecta of cold weather, gloomy skies, and action-packed weekends?)  I need to get in the habit of planning my outfit out the night before but, ’til then… leaving myself thirty minutes to get out the door makes me appreciate my winter wardrobe staples.

My illustration of ten winter essentials for layering. Silk scarf, leopard belt, easy tee, chambray button down, marled socks, leggings, leopard booties, grey cardigan, grandpa cardi and touch gloves from Ralph Lauren

Today’s Illustration:
printed scarf 
 ($ J.Crew Factory), leopard belt ($ asos and $$ Nordstrom), boat-neck stripe tee ($ asos and $$ G -Star), chambray shirt Topshop (or $ asos and $$ Madewell), marled socks ($ J.Crew), touch gloves ($$ Lauren Ralph Lauren), grandpa cardigan ($ Urban Outfitters and $$$ Brooks Brothers), pocket cardi J.Crew (or $ Target and $$$ Miu Miu), leggings Zara (or $$ Bare Necessities), leopard bootie LOFT (or $ Madden Girl and $$ Sam Edelman)

My uniform tends to be a button-down shirt and my favorite Zara leggings (or basic skirt).  They’re easy to dress up or down and even easier for layering.  When it’s 15 degrees outside, 60 at your desk and 40 in the conference room – layering is key.

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Frigid Friday: Boxy Sweater & Bootcut Jeans

Finally, the weekend is here!  I’m pretty excited it might be the end of the freez-ocalypse too.  It’s been so cold in my office lately – I’ve been opting for chunky cozy sweaters.  Here’s my latest fashion illustration for your Saturday enjoyment.

fashion illustration, boxy cowl neck sweater, flare denim, michael kors tote

Today’s Illustration:
boxy cowl neck
Express (or $ LOFT & $$$ BCBG), leather belt J.Crew (or $asos), denim Levi’s (or $ asos and $$$ Bloomingdale’s), stamped initial necklace (or $$ Max & Chloe), chain earrings Club Monaco (or $ asos), lace up ankle bootie Steve Madden (or $$$ Tory Burch), nylon tote Michael Kors (or $ Zappos)

I’m not sure why – but I dusted off my bootcut jeans and have been rotating them in my wardrobe recently.  I guess I’ve been thinking about trying to get the most out of my clothes.  And, re-discovering something in your closet is almost as good as shopping.  And you’ll feel proud of yourself for getting the most out of your clothes.

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OMG, Shoes (Fashion Illustrations)

As you know, I have spring on the brain.  Long story short – I discovered that Amazon has an awesome shoe store (with great search features plus free returns on most items) aaaaand I ordered a bunch of sandals!  Here are my impressions, final verdicts, and fashion illustrations (of course.)

Lauren Ralph Lauren Hazel buckle platform sandal

Hazel platform sandal Lauren Ralph Lauren

I got these in a size 5 – they fit great and I love the snakeskin texture.  But in my opinion the “sandstone” color was too dull and desaturated for spring/summer.  I might get another pair in white and see how those look, but I’m still not sure. Returned.

Schutz, Christie platform sandal

Christa sandal Schutz

The smallest I could get was a 5.5 and the fit made walking around feel awkward.  I loved the chunky wooden platform – and the Jute sole seemed comfortable for hot weather (aka if my feet got sweaty… ew) but I think it might take me a while to get used to the texture.  (Am I crazy? Any “jute sole” fans out there??)  The straps were a really pretty color but, unfortunately these were just too big to keep. Returned.

Lauren Ralph Lauren, leather Hart platform sandal

Hart platform sandal Lauren Ralph Lauren

Amazon only had these in a size 5.5 as well.  As soon as I slipped my feet into these babies I knew they were keepers.  The leather straps were buttery soft.  The heel height is high (which I like) but didn’t feel uncomfortable after wearing around the house for a while.  I also love the “Polo Tan” color – it’s exactly what I was looking for.  And – bonus: V.Ng liked them too!  Verdict: Exchanged (for a size 5 on Zappos.)

Did I make the right decisions or do you disagree? Let me know what you think; I’d love to read your opinions.

Thanks for viewing my fashion illustrations, everybody!

 

Birthdays Galore… and What I Wore

My outfit as a fashion illustration - Theory blazer with Club Monaco shirt and Forever21 shorts

Today’s Illustration:
blazer Theory (or $ Modcloth and $$ Bebe), crown print shirt Club Monaco, faux leather panel shorts Forever21, black tights asos, lace up ankle bootie Steve Madden (or $$$ Tory Burch), pebbled leather bag Kate Spade (or $$ Neiman Marcus and $$$$ Fendi), Luster necklace by Good Season

I feel like 80% of my friends born in the past three weeks. I love hanging out with my friends – celebrating the event of their birth… But come on guys; can’t we spread it out!?

Until about a week ago I was working from home. So, when I got out of bed (at 4pm) to get ready for a birthday dinner I compensated for my hobo-ness with an office-like outfit. In fact, someone asked if I “came straight from work?” Success.

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Spring is in the (Soho) Air

Prada coat, bag and shoes; Spring look from Club Monaco - my fashion sketchbook

Today’s Illustration:
white coat ($$$ DKNY), silver platform sandals Prada (or $$ aldo), black patent satchel ($$ 6pm), Club Monaco $$$ Akira pea coat$$ Riley color-block sweater, $$ button down shirt$$ skinny colored denimplatform sandals ($$ Dolce Vita)

Printed looks from Bloomingdale's for my fashion sketchbook

printed sleeveless button-down ($$ Bloomingdale’s), leather look leggings ($ Neiman Marcus and $$$ Theyskens’ Theory), cropped jacket (or $ Macy’s and $$$ Shopbop), hot pants with leather look accent ($ ThreadSence), cut-out sandals (or $ Yoox and $$ Macy’s)

I hope everybody had a great weekend!  Or… are you enjoying another day off? (;

Last week I met up with a good friend I hadn’t seen for months.  She chose a lounge near her yoga class – just north of Houston St.; I seized the opportunity to make a return (impulse buy, sigh…) and admire the store windows on my way to dinner.

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Three Sketches, Two Anchors, One Tea Party

Fashion illustration of J.Crew anchor intarsia sweater with a mesh skirt or jeans.

Today’s illustration:
anchor intarsia sweater $$ J.Crew Factory

Fashion illustration of J.Crew anchor intarsia sweater with a mesh skirt or jeans.
pearl collar TopShop (or $ asos and $$ Dillard’s), leather trim skater skirt (or $$ asos and $$$ Rag & Bone), plaid pattern tights thanks, Mom (or Kate Spade), studded satchel Burberry (or $ asos and $$$$ YSL), bow bootie DolceVita (or $ Heels and $$$$ Alexander McQueen)

Fashion illustration of J.Crew anchor intarsia sweater with a mesh skirt or jeans.

skinny denim american eagle outfitters (or $ Macy’s and $$ J.Crew), suede booties Enzo Angiolini (or $$ asos), classic belt ($ J.Crew), Kate Spade leather tote (or $ R+J and $$$ Kate Spade)

When I saw this intarsia anchor sweater at J.Crew Factory (one of my fave shopping spots) – I thought, “How many times can I actually wear an anchor top?” The answer: A bunch.  I’ve already worn it several times… including my fancy friend’s fancy tea party.  (And, I couldn’t resist the appeal of an anchor themed fashion illustration.)

Have you guys gone to “high tea?”  I kiiiind of love it.

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Winterize Your Sheath Dress

winterize your sheath dress fashion illustration

Today’s Illustrations:
belted ponte sheath dress 
LOFTperfect long sleeve tee $ J.Crewknee high boots ($$ asos or $$$ Shopbop), swing bag $$ Rebecca Minkoff

winterize your sheath dress fashion illustration

Franita tweed sheath $$$ Theorydraped cardigan ($ Macy’s or $$$ Saks Fifth Avenue), emerald belt ($ Express or $$$ DVF), stud bracelet ($ asos or $$$ Shopbop), leopard flat ($$ Steve Madden or $ Target), Penelope tote $$$ Tory Burch

winterize your sheath dress fashion illustration

Emmaleigh dress $$ J.Crew, peplum jacket $$ asos, printed scarf ( $ Modcloth or $$$ Farfetchcolorblock pump ($$ Madewell or $ DSW), double tassel clutch asos

A friend suggested I write about how to wear your dresses in cold weather – what a brilliant idea!  A lot of my friends (including the one who inspired this post) own several sheath dresses.  Don’t let them go to waste this winter!  Layering is the trick (oh yeah, and tights.)

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Open Drawing: What I Wore

easy going with a grandpa cardi

Today’s Illustration:
jacquard dot shirt
 Trovata (or $ WetSeal and $$ Free People), men’s cardigan Hilfiger Denim (or $$ Urban Outfitters), denim shorts Gilly Hicks (or $ asos), dot socks American Eagle Outfitters (or   $ Macy’s), black tights asoslace up ankle bootie Steve Madden (or $$$ Tory Burch)

When people first hear I work as a designer/illustrator, they imagine laughter, painting and lots of freedom.  But, at the end of the day work is work.  And no matter how great a job can seem… sometimes it (sadly) boils down to the bottom line.  Don’t get me wrong – there is a lot of fun and laughter in the creative field.  (And, some are lucky enough to have a job where you create whatever you want boundlessly.)  But, for me it is a constant balance of fun and reality.  In my opinion one of the hardest things is maintaining creative self-satisfaction.

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