Kiss Me Deadly is a brand that I feel I owe a lot to. I discovered them in late high school and fell absolutely in love with them during some very formative years of my life. I was nervous about lingerie though, so I tentatively dipped my toe in the water and bought a few swimsuits from them instead… A few months later, I entered some selfies that I had taken using my scanner into their “Deadly Mermaid” themed contest, and I won! What!! I couldn’t believe it! To add to the excitement, college was only a few months away and it was as if I could see the doors to a new world open… one where I would live an independent life, full of glamour, new friends — and coordinating underwear!
I wore stockings attached securely to my trusty Van Doren suspender belt almost every day for the first two years of college, a little confidence-boosting trick that gave me pep to my step and the courage to approach any and all potential friends. In an art school FULL of insanely beautiful, unique, and well dressed people, I felt like I had a secret edge. I think I owe a lot of the confidence and self-love that I have to today to those first few years of college… and to seamed stockings, of course!
Today, my tastes lean more towards dramatic and impractical er, totally practical loungewear, and I’m not nearly as avid a stocking-wearer as I was then, but plenty of KMD items are still in frequent rotation in my wardrobe. One of those pieces is this absolutely wonderful lace capelet…
I bought it because it’s a cape (and capes are AWESOME), but not quite knowing when I was actually going to wear it. Lo and behold… I wear it all the time! It’s definitely my go-to item when I’m trying to add extra mystery and glamour to an outfit any time I’m going out. Dinner? Definitely mini cape appropriate. The theatre? DUH WEAR A CAPE. Gallery opening. Cape. Grocery store? Just go ahead and wear the cape! You really can’t go wrong here.
Apart from being awesome simply because it’s a tiny cape, it was also a wonderful purchase in terms of quality. The lace is surprisingly durable, and has held up perfectly despite many long nights of drinks, dancing, and other activities generally considered dangerous for delicate clothing. I’ve hand-washed it several times, and it’s showing zero signs of wear so far.
For the illustration, I wanted to capture a little bit of the confidence that KMD gave me as a young adult. For that reason, I was inspired by the above sketch from a recent job, where the woman pictured stares intently and self-assuredly back at the viewer. The client chose one of the other sketches that I submitted, but I still really liked this sketch, and this blog seemed like the perfect excuse to get this illustration out of my system!
Originally, I was going to set the figure in a garden at night, but then I thought about it and realized that I’ve definitely been using branches and foliage as a bit of an artistic crutch lately. (Take a peek through the last two posts here and you’ll see what I mean!) I needed something more interesting to draw.
I didn’t have a clear concept going in, so I posted images 1 and 2 (below) to my Facebook looking for suggestions. One friend suggested a wall of portraits behind her, which I though was a lovely idea. And then I thought “What about… a wall of erotic photographs? Then I could draw even MORE sexy ladies!” I quickly sketched the idea out out, showed it to my friend, and dove back into Photoshop with renewed enthusiasm. Yay boobs!
What I like about this piece (other than the charmingly well-framed smut all over the walls), is that the figure is not posed seductively or smiling coyly, and she isn’t even wearing anything that revealing. Nonetheless, she is definitely a temptress. She looks on at the viewer with authority in her eyes, power in her stance, and the slightest hint of a smirk.