Red Carpet Designers Offer Alternative to Stress-Baking and Streaming: Sketching

Courtesy Alexander McQueen; Courtesy Choo; Courtesy Jennifer Meyer
Sketches from Alexander McQueen, Jimmy Choo and Jennifer Meyer

Amid sheltering in place, Jimmy Choo and Alexander McQueen launch at-home art projects via Instagram. Says Carolina Herrera's creative director Wes Gordon: "There are so many talented artists who are at home right now, with no outlet for their pent-up creative energy."

No purchase necessary. Luxury labels are getting creative when it comes to engaging with their customers and followers during COVID-19. A handful of designers have launched initiatives on social media to encourage creativity — and help banish boredom — at home, whether sketching favorite runway looks or dreaming up one's own designs.

Carolina Herrera announced "Herrera in Color" on Instagram, which gives followers the opportunity to upload an illustration of a Carolina Herrera runway look along with the hashtag #HerreraInColor for the chance to be featured on the brand's social channels. "Carolina Herrera has always been a celebration of color and joy," creative director Wes Gordon tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I'm inviting anyone to create a beautiful image inspired by Herrera and we will highlight some of our favorites. We must keep creating, painting, drawing … and dreaming."

Alexander McQueen is posting themed photos of iconic runway creations (most recently three-dimensional flowers) on Instagram each week and challenging followers to snap a screenshot, find their sketchbook and re-create their favorite image using their preferred medium. The British brand is reposting select images with the hashtag #McQueenCreators.

Red carpet stylist stylist Samantha McMillen, who recently appeared alongside Brie Larson on one of THR's Stylists Issue covers, uploaded her own illustration of the designer's crimson rose dress from the Autumn/Winter 2019 runway on Instagram, captioning it: "My first attempt at sketching/painting this beauty."

Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Jennifer Meyer, who donated 20 percent of all sales for three weeks to Baby2Baby to help provide diapers, formula and hygiene items to children in need during COVID-19, has a kid-friendly coloring page that can be downloaded from her website. It features Meyer's signature lucky charms — a favorite of Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon.

"It started as a fun way to pass time with our kids," says Meyer, who's enjoying Netflix, puzzles and baking at home with her two children, Ruby and Otis. "It's a little luck and love to color in, whether by yourself or as a family activity."

And perhaps most engaging of all is Jimmy Choo. The London-based label, a red carpet staple for Emily Blunt and Gemma Chan, launched #ChooSketch, a program that gives aspiring designers (and high heel fanatics) the opportunity to draw their own "fantasy shoes" inspired by a new theme each week, which the brand announces on Instagram on Mondays. The latest theme is "Unity," which creative director Sandra Choi chose to encourage the idea that we are all in this together, referencing her use of knots in shoe and bag collections, which now more than ever represents "a tie that binds."

Choi will eventually narrow it down to 10 entries and let the brand's Instagram followers vote on five finalists, whose shoes will become part of a capsule collection with all of the proceeds going to charity.