Random fashion illustration #3: Armani privé fall 2015

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The random fashion illustration of this week is inspired by the Fall 2015 Armani Privé collection.
I wanted to convey the mix of disco glam, 80s vibe and the coolness of the short haircuts seen on the runway but in a simple way, using only a few colors and not too many details.
(You can check out the full collection here.)

I chose this drawing because I needed some pink and feathers to lift up my mood today: I have been so busy in the last couple of weeks that I haven't been able to do a single sketch, I miss drawing so much :(

But tomorrow I'm flying to my Italian hometown to spend Christmas with the family and I'll use all my free time to paint, inks and watercolors are already packed ;)
This week you can follow my work on Instagram, I'll be back on the blog on 29th December!

Happy Christmas holidays!

xx Al

All the cool girls: Mimi Thorisson

Monday, December 14, 2015

There are many good bloggers out there. Bloggers that are really nice to read and produce very inspiring images, able to communicate a very precise idea and aesthetic in such an effective and charismatic way that you soon become addicted and find yourself craving for every new post.

There are bloggers that go even beyond that.
Somehow their website is so impregnated with their beautiful world and their genuine style that it becomes something web-trascendent.
Like, it's not even a blog anymore.
It's the essence of a lifestyle, a dream, an inspiration all together. It's the intoxicating mixed feeling of relating to them and at the same time aspiring to be like them.

For a long time I thought Garance Doré was the one and only I could put in this category of super-bloggers.
But a couple of years ago I discovered the blog of Mimi Thorisson, Manger, and I had to change my mind.
Basically, Mimi's website is a food blog (THE food blog, I'd say) but as you scroll through the pages you realize that it's actually much more than that.

Mimi is a Chinese-French beauty living in a countryside castle in Médoc, France, with her husband and a lot of kids and dogs (I honestly don't remember how many... but a lot).
Her blog documents visits to the local markets, walks in the beautiful French woods and rustic but somehow elegant fireplace-lit dinners.

The beautiful photos in her blog, by her Icelandic husband Oddur Thorisson, are able to make you actually smell the cheese platters and the duck sizzling in the pan and anticipate the taste of a gorgeous glass of champagne.

The recipes of Mimi are the quintessence of French food: seasonal, genuine and full of taste with a reminiscence of grandma's comfort Sunday food and the elegance of a Parisian bistrot.
And French style: Mimi enchants us with a very simple and chic beauty. You'll see her either in Repetto flats or Hunter boots, wearing a simple black dress with grace. Never blow-dried hair, never too much make-up.

I've been wanting to make a portrait of her almost since my very first visit to her blog, but my long illustration hiatus and that kind of feeling that "I'll never be able to render her beauty and the mood around her" blocked me until today.

And her wonderful world in the countryside of Médoc didn't intoxicate me alone: she became so famous with her blog that she has her own cooking show (La table de Mimi, on French TV) and first cookbook (A Kitchen in France: A Year of Cooking in My Farmhouse) and has appeared on countless magazine, websites and TV features.

But now I've talked enough, head over to her blog (and her Instagram @mimithor) and see for yourself.
You'll be so hypnotized by her style and the beautiful photos of her food that you'll find yourself drooling at the screen without even noticing ;)

xx Al

Beauty miracle: "Death Valley" dry shampoo by R+Co

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

I already knew that the States are the promised land for what concerns beauty: you can find any brand, any cool innovative product and any kind of new beauty concept store over there.
I went there in Summer for work and while most of my two weeks on American soil were spent in the not-so-glamourous New Jersey suburbs, I had the chance to pay a brief visit to New York city, one of my uber-favourites cities in the world (but who doesn't love NYC??), where I filled my eyes and heart with the buzzing beauty of this amazing metropolis and drained my credit card completely.

What I didn't know is that I would come back to Europe with an amazing beauty discovery, my new favourite hair product, the best dry shampoo ever conceived: the R+Co Death Valley Dry Shampoo.

Ok ok I know, it's a bit pricey. But believe me, once you try it you'll understand why.
The main reasons are three:

1) even if it was JUST a dry shampoo, it's by far the best. Reason? It doesn't leave a white powdery stain on your hair. Really, I know you don't believe me, but it doesn't. And it doesn't make your hair sticky and heavy at all. The mist that comes out of the spray can is so thin and diffused that it looks like you're not putting anything on your hair if it wasn't for the...

2) ... scent. The scent is simply AMAZING. Ok, I love the coconut et similia kind of smells and tastes, but I think anyone would love this. It smells like a tropical beach... you're lying on the white sand, drinking from a coconut (with the paper umbrella and the pink flamingo straw and everything), listening to some stoned Kurt Vile tunes and everything is bright, relaxed and tastes like holidays.
That kind of smell.
And this is pretty impressive when you consider that most of the dry shampoos on the market smell like a mixture of plastic, organic solvents and antibiotic syrup (at least the ones I've tried).

3) It's not just a dry shampoo. I actually also use it on my clean hair because it makes it better. Really.
Your usual dry shampoo is: "crap I just got up and I am already late I can't wash my hair, no way, so how am I gonna fix this mess? Oh right, let's put some dry shampoo on and hide this disaster in a top knot".
This is: "Oh look I just dried my hair but I need some extra volume, let's spray some R+Co" and "this hairdo looks amazing but I need some extra fluffiness, let's add a spray of R+Co" and "I have a date and I need to smell like a heavenly goddess from head to toe, let's take care of the head with the R+Co" and "sh*t, the day-3-hair. Let's turn back time with the R+Co and make it a day 2".
Stuff like that.

Hair as fluffy as this. Yeah.

AND the best thing is that I don't need to fly to New York to have it (I seriously came back from my trip with the suitcase full of R+Co bottles. R+Co bottles are to Al as the packs of spaghetti are to Italian migrants moving abroad) because apparently they're starting to distribute in Europe.
I'm checking the progress on their Instagram praying that they come to Belgium soon, but they are already selling in Italy and you can be sure that I'm going to find some hair goodies to bring back from my Christmas family visit in Florence (there we go with another full suitcase).

Go and have a look at their products (I also have the Outer Space hairspray, which is also pretty amazing, in the travel size) and if you try any let me know what you think!
I seriously can't wait to try also other products of their line (for example the shampoos) and you can be sure that if I am as amazed as I am now with this one I'll come back for another review. Yeah.

xx Al

Random fashion illustration #2: Aquazzura shoes

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I love Aquazzura.
There is something in their shoes that is just perfectly balanced. I think I've never seen a shoe designer able to infuse this perfect mix of femininity, modernity, elegance and sexiness in every single design of pumps and flats.
I don't know if it's the shape of the shoe itself, or the way the lace-up detail adds a special touch but I find myself drooling on almost every single model.
I will probably never be able to afford a pair but luckily the flattering and edgy vibe was quickly picked up by the fashion world a couple of years ago and the web is now over-flooded with cheaper alternatives in a similar style. It will never be the same, it will never be that perfect balance, but oh well, it's just for while we wait to become rich ;)
In the meanwhile, I might get this pair at Zara soon.

What about you? Do you like Aquazzura? And did you follow the lace-up pump and flat trend too?

xx Al

The random fashion illustration #1

Thursday, December 3, 2015

I have been desperately looking for some time to write a blog post in the last days after my holidays, but time is incredibly short lately.
The adorable Belgian highway network is so crammed these days that my usual commute takes 4 hours a day (FOUR.HOURS.SERIOUSLY) instead of 2. Moreover, the managers of the project I'm working on had the brilliant idea of making me a team leader, so now the job is even busier than usual (goodbye lunch break blogging).
Needles to say, I try to save every single free minute to cuddle my cat draw a bit so the time left to put words on screen is more and more limited.

I would like to talk about so many things... How I don't deal with my holiday weight gain, my favourite hair products of the moment, my latest make-up crush... You know, all very important and deep stuff.
It really saddens me that the world will have to live without these gems of journalism for a while.

But I thought hey, I'm still drawing a lot! Why shouldn't I at least post my drawings? That really takes two seconds.
I still publish everything on Instagram but this blog is still my visual diary so why not posting everything here as well?

So in the coming days then I'll be posting my drawings, without too much text, random fashion illustration really, waiting to have the time to write and deliver the beauty/fashion post that will make the history of the WWW.

The first drawing of this series was inspired by a headband I saw on Zara. I really liked the atmosphere of the picture and off I went with brush and ink.
Hope you like it!

xxx Al
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