Fashion Illustrations

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Big Little Lies

April 5, 2017

Illustrations and Text By TINA WILSON

Fashion Illustration by Tina Wilson of Nicole Kidman in Big Little Lies

I wasn’t prepared for the impact of Big Little Lives on my Sunday evenings. I was even less prepared for its departure, leaving an entertainment void I don’t know how to fill. I’m not one to gravitate to films or TV shows centered around entitled people with problems most of us would be happy to have, yet I was captivated for 7 weeks.  I was captivated by the acting, mesmerized by the California coastline, horrified by the secrets, obsessed with the soundtrack (do your soul a favor and download the soundtrack on Spotify) and envious of the wardrobe, the underpinnings in particular and how they helped to define these women.

Being a human mannequin, Nicole Kidman received the most opulent of the intimate apparel, as well as the most airtime wearing them.  Her bras, panties, slip dresses and robes should have received their own credits.  It was as if the director wanted us to see her at her most vulnerable while she was being physically assaulted by her Nordic godlike husband. Stripping her of her daytime armor and replacing it with silk and lace was all too effective; the scene with her sprawled and sobbing on the bathroom floor wearing a minimal black bra and bikini in the final episode broke my heart.

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

Zoe Kravitz, the peaceful “warrior” of the group was the subject of my envy for her Boho wardrobe and her hippy vibe, it spoke to me, as did her house. While all the other women lived in minimalist mansions by the ocean with views most people live and die never having seen, she and her slightly annoying, hot husband were nestled in a woodsy canyon. Living in a cluttered beauty of a home dripping in ferns, dreamcatchers and wind chimes, she ruled it with way cool compassion and understanding for all who entered.  Her vintage kimonos and camisoles with yoga pants were the only “real life” ensembles in my humble opinion. And spoiler alert*, as my mother always said “Don’t mistake kindness for weakness”, Zoe may have had less airtime than I would have preferred but she stole the finale.

Shailene Woodley’s sporty attire outshone her underpinnings as a topic of discussion.  Her character’s “jogging on the beach” scenes, were great self-reflective moments and oddly my favorite scene of the mini-series is of her dancing violently by herself to “Dance This Mess Around” by the B’52’s, try it, I did and it felt like I had shed a layer of skin, stress and worry, it was sooooo good! There is nothing more cathartic than wearing a tank top (and no bra) and leggings and yes…. dancing like no one is watching.

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

I save my final commentary for my favorite character played by Reese Witherspoon. Her house was my favorite dwelling, the kitchen being the “star” of the family meal gatherings and if you watched the show, you know why. Never have I had love for and a desire to know such a gossipy, meddling, woman until now, I wanted her to be my new best friend.  What made you love her instead of wanting to climb through the screen and strangling her was her character’s genuine desire to empower the women around her even while she conspired against them in defense of another. It was fitting that she sometimes wore pajamas, the button front kind that take a little time and effort to remove. She seemed to want the layer of protection from the loving, devoted, funny and nearly perfect husband she took for granted.

There was irony, detail, and layers in just about every minute of the series. I absolutely loved the precocious kids and their musical choices especially little buzz cut Ziggy, I wanted to take him home and buy him every piece of candy and every toy he ever wanted, his lip syncing of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone” gave me chills.  I must give props to Laura Dern, she is an acting goddess, but she dared not show us her undergarments, so just let me say, I haven’t enjoyed such a bitch this much since Elizabeth Perkins as Celia in Weeds.

I will be reviewing each episode over the summer in hopes of unearthing more and more, I need to savor it and make it last…..

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

 

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Tie Them Up, Tie Them Down

March 16, 2017

By TINA WILSON

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

Last November I fell victim to my obsession with director Pedro Almodovar films, and signed up for nightly tickets to his film retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art.  I love his depiction of women, his attention to the detail of their struggles and the men who worship them.  One of his more popular films is “Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down”, I’ve seen it a half dozen times and it isn’t even my all-time favorite of his films.  It is about a beautiful actress abducted and tied up by a young obsessed Antonio Banderas and not to give anything away but how their “relationship” evolves. While the title suggests bondage and sadistic behavior, that would be too simplistic, and ultimately the film is about this woman’s strength and her choices, not her abductor’s.

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

While walking the Salon De La Lingerie in January I came upon two intimate apparel brands that I was unfamiliar with. They were strangely beautiful and well-crafted. The various bodysuits, panties, bras, corsets and harnesses were made from chains, forged metals, and leather. One brand was Madame “O” and the other was Maze and rather than exude a desire for bondage they appeared to me more like the modern woman’s armor.  I imagined today’s “warriors” wearing these brands.  They could be worn indoors and in private or out in the world over your t-shirt and your jeans.  I left the show with photos and the desire to write about these brands but did not know in what context until I attended Curve NY last month and met Jane Woolrich.

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

I was introduced to Jane Woolrich at Curve NY by Ellen Lewis last month.  I have been a fan of Jane’s workmanship for years.  Her corsets are works of art and her genius combinations of tulle, satin, boning and lacing are innumerable.  Jane was gracious enough to have her model try them on for us and as I watched Jane gently but firmly lace her up I was again reminded of armor, a softer more feminine armor but armor nonetheless. The model had already gotten dressed when we entered the booth and rather than have her disrobe, she put the corsets on over her shirt and jeans, and it worked, they were just as striking with clothing as they would have been without.

Fashion Illustrations by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

There has been a lot talk and action about women fighting back and being warriors in this political climate, and I believe our choices of clothing will reflect that with each passing day, starting with what lies beneath……You may ask what the film has to do with the subject matter of lingerie… not much really, I just love the movie’s title and I love watching films as much as I love designing and illustrating fashion!

 

 

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Oscar Underpinnings & Red Carpet Fashion Illustrations

February 27, 2017

by TINA WILSON ~ Illustrator


Watch in action, the drawings of Best Supporting Actress ~ Viola Davis
& Best Actress ~ Ruth Negga’s gowns on the Red Carpet.

We watch and we judge. We judged the performances they gave and the dresses they will wear to receive their accolades. I love the Oscars and I don’t believe I have missed….blah blah blah

Okay, that was my opener BEFORE the Oscars aired last night, so let me start again WHOA! WTH!?? I am over the moon that Moonlight won Best Picture, I adored that movie, no slight to LaLand but Moonlight was magical…..

I loved the Red Carpet, I loved seeing who was with who, and I loved the acceptance speeches. I loved everything about last night’s Oscars as I imagined what might be worn under some of those magnificent dresses that came down the red carpet, and there were some beauties last night. “Live sketching” the Oscars or any awards show involves a bit of dexterity, and two iPads. The first is to take pics as each nominee or presenter arrives on screen and the second Ipad is for sketching in between those moments. I make no claims to actually know anything about any of the star’s undergarments, this is pure conjecture.

In my next life I want to be Viola Davis, it is her stature, her humility, her power and that red dress on her flawless brown skin that made me envy her and I am almost positive she was wearing Wacoal Red Carpet Convertible Strapless and Janira’s Bodyshaper or the VaBien Low Back Bustier.

Let’s face it most of these women don’t need shapewear but apparently they wear it anyway so I will play along. The “Best Nude Shapewear” goes to Halle Berry who might have been wearing Simone Perele’s Top Model High Waist Shaper and Hailee Steinfeld who I hope was wearing Janira’s 31053 because that wisp of a sheer confection dress held back nothing.

Ruth Negga was stunning, I love the fact that she doesn’t feel the need to bare it all and was probably wearing the Wacoal Halo Convertible Underwire bra or the Wacoal’s Amazing Assets Convertible Underwire Pushup Bra.

Naomi Harris had to have been my favorite, that train on that short skirt had me the first second I saw it, I bet she was wearing Fashion Form’s UltraLight Nubra! No shapewear needed.


Watch: Michelle Williams & Nicole Kidman gown drawings at the 2017 Oscars

Michelle Williams is one of my favorite actresses, I’m in love with her hair, and her dress last night was one of the prettiest, she may have been wearing Le Mystere’s Perfect 10 Tanga, just to feel good.

There didn’t seem to be much opportunity for a traditional pretty lacey bra with straps, so I’ll just hope someone was wearing something from the Simone Perele Florence Collection.

Octavia Spencer is a queen and I imagined her in the Panache Evie Bridal strapless with the Elomi Shaper 8118 to reign it all in.


Oscar gown drawings video ~ Hailee Steinfeld and Halle Berry

There were too many backless, frontless, plunging numbers to count and the award for “Best Gravity Defying Options” must go to Fashion Forms, no one does the “hold up your boobs in a weird dress” better than Ann Deal with her U Plunge bra and bodysuit, Backless Strapless Bra or the Silicone Liftbra.

Charlize Theron is always a stunner and she probably didn’t need anything at all so I won’t even try to guess what she was wearing underneath, and the same for Emma Stone.

It was an amazing cliff hanging night and the finale was historic in many ways.

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Beautiful Bodies

February 17, 2017

By TINA WILSON, Illustrator ~

Fashion Illustration by Tina Wilson for Lingerie Briefs

The Body is everywhere.  You may choose to call it a bodysuit or a teddy. I call it long overdue and I attribute its resurgence to the bralet.  The undeniable consumer embrace of the unconstructed, comfy, wireless bra has given designers permission to take that philosophy further. There is also no better category of intimates so well suited (no pun intended) for wearing “out” than the bodysuit.

There was a time when the bodysuit focus was on wired, controlled, figure enhancing garments worn as much for support and shape as for sexiness, and while they are still a must have for some women, there is a new body being ushered into our lives.

Fashion Illustration by Tina Wilson for Lingerie Briefs

Some of the stand out examples I saw at the Salon de la International Lingerie last month in Paris were from Body & Clyde, which was all about the young, collegiate “pair it with your jeans” look.  The brand is rooted in the classic white t-shirt of varying shapes and necklines paired with a black brief.  Another favorite was by LYS, a hot new brand (new to me) that combines quality fabrics, trims and eclectic embroidery for a gorgeous clean yet embellished look.  Another striking body was a full coverage black lace number by Paloma Casile, it was just opaque enough to peek from beneath a jacket.  Jolies Momes had a printed floral panty with a sheer lace bodice suit that while it may not be worn out, it would surely be memorable worn for a private audience.  Le Petit Trou had a few sheer tulle and mesh bodies with ruffles, ties and gold findings that were epitome of wispy “enticement wear”.

Long sleeved.  Short sleeved. Functional.  Dysfunctional.  Wrapped.  Cut out.  Harnessed.  Chained.  Printed.  Lacey.  Clean/Edgy.  Soft/Cozy.  Unconstructed or deconstructed, all were worthy of attention.

Which brings me to my contribution to the body movement, a stretch velvet, plunging back and strappy piece I designed for the Chinese E Commerce site 02bra.

Whatever your body, there is a body for you….

Bodysuit designed by Tina Wilson on Lingerie Briefs

 

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Lingerie Francais ~ Paris 2017 Show

January 26, 2017

by TINA WILSON, Illustrator ~

“2.5 days”, that was my response to the immigration guy at JFK when he asked me how long I’d been away. He said that I was very precise and chuckled, deciding my trip was too short for me to have done any major shopping, he ushered me through without the usual luggage search. I broke my record for shortest overseas trip, and what it lacked in time it more than made up for it in pleasure. On my last full day i.e my second day in Paris, Ellen invited me to join her at “Lingerie, Mon Amour” a fashion show given by Lingerie Francais showcasing the biggest French lingerie brands. After a bit of a logistics issue we hopped on the first of the buses and left Porte de Versaille and on to the Pavillion Cambon situated on Rue Cambon, one of my favorite streets in Paris, home of Chanel, the legendary Hotel Castille and a little known bistro named Flottes.

We entered the Pavillion and immediately made our way to the “beverage” table, we discovered we both loathe champagne and asked the bartender if he might have hidden somewhere, a bottle of white wine. We maneuvered through the crowd, Ellen introduced me to some lovely boutique owners and we tried to figure out where to position ourselves for optimum viewing. The signal to sit was given and we dashed to the runway bleachers…. I’d rate our seats at a 7.5 on a scale of 10.

The music started and it was glorious, fourteen suit clad musicians began to play, the violinists being my favorites. There were four “portraits”, all spectacularly choreographed with real dancers, real ballerinas and models with bodies that defied nature. The opening was “Marie Antoinette” and the entrance of the white lingerie, white wig and “cerceau” clad dancers was lovely and carefree, and it only got better. Next were the “Ballerinas” with the perfect bodies I previously mentioned, they lined up at the entrance to the runway “en pointe” and proceeded down the runway tulle skirts in hand. One by one they twirled, arabesqued, plied, and pirouetted their hearts out and we loved it!


We were then treated to “The Look”, which was an all-black, all sexy, display of sensuality covered by a trench coat entrance. The coats did not stay on long and underneath were gorgeous bodysuits, lace slips, bras and panties that were ornate but somehow clean and precise. The finale was The Dandy Girl, another black themed segment in which the girls entered wearing only a tuxedo jacket later unveiled to reveal more sexy, pretty things. The show ended with enthusiastic applause and we all scurried from our seats to find dinner amongst the hor d’oeuvres. I left the Pavillion with all five senses grateful and satisfied and I Ubered myself back to the other side of Seine.

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Black is the New Black

January 11, 2017

by TINA WILSON, Illustrator ~

I wear mostly black. Perhaps it is the New Yorker in me or perhaps it is the forgiving silhouette it portrays, whatever the reason, I cannot change. I have accepted this and yet I sometimes feel the need to wear more color.

The other day I had the joy of reconnecting for lunch and a stroll with a dear friend I worked with years ago, someone I don’t get to see enough of. It was a cold clear day in NYC and Chelsea was busier than you would think. After lunch she suggested we hit the Pace Gallery to see the Mark Rothko exhibition in its final days, it was bustling and I was happy. Upon entering the gallery, you saw square upon square of varying versions of black… blueish black, reddish black, purplish black, brown black and combinations thereof. I’m no art critic so I won’t bore you or embarrass myself by trying to describe the beauty.

“It’s like a Donna Karan color card”! I exclaimed to my friend. “What”? she replied. I explained to her that every season I would get a card of swatches from Donna Karan when we were to begin designing for that season. Those colors were gospel, they were to be followed exactly and only those colors were to be used. Often I would receive three or four colors that at first glance all looked like black, and once and only once did I make the mistake of saying that out loud. Donna was the queen of all things black. From her I learned the subtlety of the diversity in colors, especially black, and in lingerie that is of great importance.

Black is sexy, quiet, moody, gloomy, demanding, taunting, cruel, evasive, forgiving and forbidden….by acknowledging that black is not a single color but many shades we open our wardrobe to new possibilities. I love the idea of mixing a blue black bra with a reddish black brief or shades of black embroidery on a black slip dress. All blacks are not the same and each shade can cast a different spell on you.

I chose to illustrate by sketching over photos of the Rothko paintings however sacrilegious that may be.

See more at Tina Wilson’s website: Marronage… A world of design, illustration, storytelling and ultimately escape.

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FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS

TINA WILSON

 

 
Tina Wilson began her career in intimate apparel graduating from Parsons School of Design after receiving a full scholarship. While in her first design job at Christian Dior Lingerie she was personally selected by as Head Designer to work on the launch of Calvin Klein Underwear, the legendary minimalist brand he created. Tina was and remains the only designer ever hired by Calvin Klein personally for this position.
 
Following 4 successful years at Calvin Klein, Tina joined the Josie Natori Company, where she became the designer for the new contemporary division.  After 5 years with Natori, the opportunity arose to be Design Director for the launch of Donna Karan Intimates. Tina was selected by Donna Karan and worked for the licensee Wacoal America for the next 12 years, where she worked intimately with Donna conceiving, fitting, and merchandising her iconic bras, underwear, shape wear, yogawear and sleepwear.
 
She was the creator of Wacoal’s “Controlfreak”, a new concept of shapewear, designed and fit according to a woman’s body type. It is a patented concept committed to everyday comfort and is the first “custom fit” shapewear brand.
 
Since leaving Donna Karan Intimates at Wacoal, Tina has worked for the largest privately owned intimate apparel company in America, Komar/Carole Hochman designing many of their intimate brands, among them, Ralph Lauren, On Gossamer, Ellen Tracey, Donna Karan, Betsey Johnson, Oscar De La Renta and Lucky Brand. She is currently an independent consultant and partner in the company Marronage, specializing in fashion design and illustration.
 
Tina Wilson is a board member of the Underfashion Club, a non profit organization dedicated to awarding scholarships to FIT students in the intimate apparel field. She is known for her personal vision and her commitment to education in fashion.
 
VISIT TINA WILSON’S WEBSITE FOR MORE…
 
 
 

THE MARDINEY GROUP
 
 
tina@marronage.com
917 488-4888