Recently, I stumbled across the online Vogue UK Cover Archive, and I was excited to find a showcase of cover art dating all the way back to 1916. While it was fun to see some of the styles of past decades documented in the cover photos, the real treasure for me was the older illustrated covers. The evolving illustration styles, innovative compositions and “Vogue” typefaces were an inspiring tour of fashion history and design. The archive includes information about the various issues as well as the illustrators.
My favorite period this week… art deco from the 1920s.
Last week during our down time, I was browsing some of the articles in the latest iPad issue of JENESEQUA. The watercolor and ink fashion illustrations from artist, Amelie Hegardt just took my breath away — especially her use of what art school called “negative space.” It is the areas in the composition that are left void where a part of the picture is implied through the shape of the white space. (That was your art lesson for the day! *grin*) I checked out Ms. Hegardt’s website to see more and I hope you enjoy some of the images I found.
It’s a special privilege to find beauty, creativity and inspiration around us. I’m finding that paying attention to this privilege keeps me fresh in my own creativity. In times of transition and even sorrows as my family has experienced this Fall, it’s so easy to become numb to beautiful things around us. One of the hallmarks of coming alive, of moving forward — at least for me — is seeking out that inspiration once again. I’ve begun that process slowly during the last few weeks.
This week, I was browsing through the iPad publication, JENESEQUA. The app is a lifestyle magazine developed specifically for the iPad format, and it’s a true multi-media presentation. Beautiful photography, interesting lifestyle editorial content and varied content are augmented by “related content” curated from across the web including YouTube videos, Pinterest boards, blog posts and online shopping excursions. The content is sharable with a touch of the screen and readers can “favorite” items to a profile for reading later. The No. 12 holiday issue is sparkling with holiday celebration and fashionable finds. Enjoy a few of my favorite stories!
Daily PONDspiration [for the well-drawn closet}… Take a look at these great illustrations of fashion accessories by Jenny Mortsell from Line – A Journal, No. 6. It’s an inspired and unexpected approach to showing products that are usually all photos and glitz. The intricate illustrations become little jewels hovering over the background textures. Nice.
Line – A Journal is an intriguing quarterly online magazine focused primarily in fashion with art, design, film and people-watching sprinkled in. It always sports some great photo styling!
This week, as the Christmas retail season gets into full swing, I wanted to highlight the great shopping experience provided by one of my clients, a successful locally-owned business in the state. For the past month, I’ve had the opportunity to work with the team at Halo Business Advisors in crafting a new email marketing “look” for 4450, a unique, high-end women’s boutique in Jackson, Mississippi.
I was able to visit the store for the first time in early November and meet Luke and Alison Abney, the owners. To be honest, I was blown away by the environment, the look and the unique clothing pieces they offer. It was such a different shopping experience from the big department stores where you might find some of their brands, and it made me want to come back again and again.
The look they’ve created in the store is very spare, but inviting. With white walls and trim, lots of gray and neutral interior accessories, exposed metal beams and pinpoint lights, walking into the boutique was like a breath of fresh air. My favorite part was the preservation of space. You know how when you shop in a large department store, you are constantly tripping over items and running into racks of clothing just to get a peek at the merchandise? Well, the 4450 experience is the polar opposite. Their unique displays and well-chosen selections are artfully shown with plenty of comfortable space to sit or explore. Their choice of a neutral background palette really helps the clothing take center stage in their two-story space.
Alison Abney shared with me that she feels the greatest strengths of 4450 as a retail option are their buying choices. They try to offer brands that are unique to the area and feature new design styles that aren’t as prevalent. This really appeals to a broad range of clientele who is interested in a unique and special look not found in every other store. Alison also said that they focus on pieces rather than collections when they choose their designers, offering customers the opportunity to mix and match items to serve their own wardrobe needs.
The urban influences of 4450 are clear in the clothing choices and in the interiors. And, Alison and her team wanted that influence reflected in their email marketing as well. While some of their print advertising might be a little more staid, my job was to create an email look that offered a little “pop” in the inBox. Using black as our base color, we combined some brighter colors with an edgy look to convey their promotional messages in a fun, but sophisticated way. Take a look! And if you’re in the Jackson, MS area, don’t miss a stop at 4450. It’s well worth a trip down the I-55 Frontage Road!
Being a designer by trade and by obsession, I’m always inspired by products that let me customize or add my own creative touch. I found several great products recently that let you do just that. I posted them a few weeks ago at the Small Pond Facebook Page, but I thought I’d share them here as well. Be inspired to create your own designer stuff!
DESIGN YOUR OWN… Dinnerware at LAPLATES.COM
You can choose your pattern, color and monogramming style for these great melamine plates. A great hooray for the waning days of summer outdoor party fun!
DESIGN YOUR OWN… Pillows and Bedding at INMOD.COM
Wow is all I can say about the great patterns and options available with this great product. There is truly something for every style. For pillows you can choose your own pattern, fabric option, size and colors to fully customize your look.
DESIGN YOUR OWN… Boardshorts at SHORTOMATIC.COM
I love this product! These shorts make me want to head to Venice Beach in a convertible and sing Beach Boys songs. You can choose your style and colors right down to the custom text printed on the inside waistband. You make them your own by uploading your own artwork file and positioning it on the shorts. What do you think? Princely shorts?
DESIGN YOUR OWN… Notecards & eInvites at AGADABOUT.COM
This designer has some great illustration options that are available for monogramming or printing with your full name. One thing I really love is the iPhone app that lets you customize and send designer e-invitations straight from your phone. Very cool.