Kerrie Hess’s illustrations are iconic. Renowned for her minimal yet elegant style, her designs expertly convey the glamour, frivolity and beauty of the fashion world, yet are just as influential as the subjects she depicts. Australian-born and Brisbane-based, Kerrie’s artworks have gained international acclaim, with everyone from Cartier, Printemps Paris, Kate Spade New York, Louis Vuitton, Collette Dinnigan and Net-a-Porter showcasing their collaborations with her.
Vogue, Tatler, and Harper’s Bazaar are just some of the publications she’s worked with, while her silk scarves, book covers, and footwear collection are highly coveted by It Girls and fashionistas around the globe. Despite her fame, Kerrie has extended her talent to creating personalised portraits, launching her Custom Bridal Dress service to give every bride the opportunity to create a timeless memory of their special day.
Perfect as a surprise wedding gift, each illustration will be handcrafted in Kerrie’s signature style, with the option to embellish the piece using gold or silver leaf or be framed available. We sat down with the artist and mother-of-one to talk about this exciting new venture and what it means for her, while discussing all things wedding planning, inspiration and romance in between.
Can us a bit about yourself and your work?
I am a mother and an artist based in Brisbane. I have worked as an artist and illustrator for nearly two decades now, living between London, Hong Kong, Melbourne and Paris. During this time I have worked for clients such as Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Elie Saab and Harrods to name a few.
What inspired you to create these custom wedding dress portraits?
Well aside from currently being in the wedding planning stage myself, I felt that the thing I would absolutely love from my own wedding day more than anything would be a portrait of the dress. It’s one of the most special elements of the day and there is something quite timeless about a beautiful couture dress in paint.
What’s the process behind one of these portraits? I generally work off photographs of the dress to create a beautiful original piece of art for these Bridal Dress portraits. They are a mix of watercolour and acrylic paint, metallic highlights and sometimes gold or silver foil if those tones are in the dress. The piece is timeless and unique. Something beautiful to remember your wedding day and dress. I am also set to release a series of Limited Edition Bridal Prints quite soon also, so watch this space!
Can you tell us about one of your recent custom bridal dress illustrations?
There was a beautiful textured and flowing Naeem Kahn dress for a client in London recently. It was a secret organised by the bride’s partner.
But really, the portraits are created for brides in the process of getting married or indeed anyone who may have been married some time ago and might just want a beautiful painting of their dress. For those who may want a smaller piece rather than a large original, or just don’t have the time for the process of an original commission, I am also launching very soon, a selection of ‘Limited Edition Bridal Prints’.
Describe your signature illustration style
It’s very fluid. I am always hoping for a sense of romance and mystery in my work. My style has definitely evolved over the years to what it is now. I made the move to paints and brushes instead of pens and computer about 12 years ago and I much prefer this approach now. I have loved moving away from digital work, it feels more authentic and it has been a nice progression. Plus I like to spend as little time on a computer as possible. I am so much happier in a mess of brushes and paints.
Click here to discover more about Kerrie, and here to find out how you can have a customised portrait commissioned.