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Illustrated My Style: 2016 Outfits

By December 23, 2016 My Style

An idea planted in my mind after my latest post, so I decided to run with it. 2016 has been a year of rekindling my love for digital illustration. I’m quite happy with where I’m at in terms of my signature style, whether that’s in terms of drawing or even the outfits I’ve been wearing this year, so, I thought I’d combine the two and do a small recap of the looks I’ve been gravitating towards, in the form of some fashion outfit illustrations!

fashion outfit illustrations - second-hand ethical fashion blog


One of my first outfits of 2016 was probably the start of defining my aesthetic for the year. I thought perhaps it would dip in and out of this and that but this dress has made quite a few appearances more than this simple two-piece look. Seeing as it wasn’t an ethical or conscious purchase, I’m justifying it by knowing that I most definitely have worn it for 30 wears and I will continue to do so until it’s either in need of repair, a revamp or a trip to a charity shop.

I’m also happy to say that my Dr Martens have had plenty of outings too, and I had them repaired instead of receiving a new pair when the zips were starting to fail me. I would like to try out the vegan Dr Martens, but I’d also like to know more about their production before doing so. Although they might not be produced of leather, plastics and synthetic materials aren’t necessarily any better due to the chemicals used and released in the manufacturing process.

fashion outfit illustrations - second-hand ethical fashion blog


A similar style dress with splits and a detailed print was featured in my blog post about accepting change and curating a personal archive. I also wore my DIY and revamped faux leather jacket in this post too. I’d say for the majority of the second half of 2016, I was wearing at least one or two, second-hand items per outfit, so for this one, I opted for layering a floral blouse underneath the dress. For those with a slimmer figure and for those who don’t usually wear a low neckline, layering blouses is what I recommend for you! I also wore my Dr Martens here too.

You may have taken a look at this outfit post rather recently, but I’ve definitely worn it more than that one photo shoot. I love the colour blocking element to it and the fact that everything but the shoes I was wearing (another pair of my trusty DMs) were second-hand or vintage. A lot of you liked the look of my pink turtleneck (in fact, I believe one of you even went out and scouted down your own second-hand version), so I’ll definitely make a show of it in 2017 too! And of course, the years after that, and for however long I can manage to squeeze into it.

fashion outfit illustrations - second-hand ethical fashion blog


This outfit went down with a warm reception. As you can tell, dresses and my calf height Dr Martens are definitely a ‘Tolly trend’. This dress was an unexpected jumble sale delight. Unfortunately I now don’t have it on me as it wasn’t really on my mind when leaving the earthquake zones (let me know if you want me to write a piece on living with a temporary capsule wardrobe), but I know once it’s back in my possession I’ll be styling it up once again. In fact I think it would look great with the aforementioned pink turtleneck. Also – sheer clothes are really fun to draw.

What have you been wearing recently? Which is your favourite illustration? Let me know in the comments! 

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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Illustrated Designs: Practicing Repeat Patterns with Watercolour

By July 30, 2016 Designs

It’s been a while since I’ve posted some designs on here. I’m pretty much a perfectionist so I only ever like to share things that I’m genuinely happy with or I at least think are worth sharing. After fiddling around and practicing my watercolour painting techniques and watercolour repeat patterns, I doodled up a quick one and was set a small brief to draw up some rough ideas to make them come to life… and they’re worth sharing, I suppose! Plus, it was totally an excuse to try out the illustrative style I’ve fallen in love with…

© Original designs by Tolly Dolly Posh. More info here

watercolour repeat patterns illustrated fashion design


The brief was to sketch up some simple items that could be easily cut and put together, and my first thought was loose and unfitted. I personally love layering, so most of the low-cut v-neck items in this blog post are ideally meant for that purpose. A ditsy floral print would work really well, especially if layered over a contrast blouse or shirt. It genuinely would be a straight up and down cami with the only detailing being the deep neckline, making it a simple throw on and throw away piece (by throw away I mean, into your drawers).

The skirt would be a thicker jersey material, in a simple circle skirt/A-line fit. Stretchy and comfortable, but thicker than the more silk like cami to match. I love experimenting with different colour ways and print scales, hence why the skirt and top mismatch. The addition of the ruffled arm cuffs and collar are based around the seasonal trends at the moment, which are also in a mixmatched colour way.

watercolour repeat patterns illustrated fashion design


Another flowing v-neck design in a powder purple. Similar in shape to the cami already mentioned, it’s simply straight up and down and due to it’s extremely relaxed and loose nature, has no zips or buttons as it can be taken on and off with ease. I understand that it looks like a rather daring neckline, but once again, it’s intended for layering, but for these sketches I didn’t want to take away from the main idea.

watercolour repeat patterns illustrated fashion design


Almost identical to the maxi dress, this playsuit is again just straight up and down and simple; the fabric being loose enough for a no-zip access. It’s a rather ‘boyish’ fit, with lots of room in the legs and body for movement not only for the wearer, but also for the fabric. A slightly bigger print scale allows the green to contrast against the darker greens within the print, and adds for a more camouflage, botanical feel.

watercolour repeat patterns illustrated fashion design

~ MOCK-UP DESIGN (Original item via People Tree) ~

I also wanted to do a quick mock-up using an ‘already in production’ item as it gives you a real sense of how the print would work with certain fabrics. You an also see the print a little closer up here. It’s a combination of large flowers and foliage, with scattered leaves and small daisy like flowers. The colours could easily be adapted for a more autumnal feel, but with the blues included, I could see this piece going into winter too.

I hope you liked this quick little insight into some recent rough designs! You guys requested for me to post some more of these illustrations, so I thought I’d give you just that! I put a quick poll out on Twitter (closed now, I’m afraid) to see if you’d be interested in seeing daily illustrations over fashion week instead of general reviews, and the answer was definitely a yes to illustrations! I’ll let you know how that goes and if I stick to it!

(Reference images)

Would you wear any of these designs? Which is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!

  Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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The Gucci Museum – Florence, Italy 🇮🇹

By July 6, 2016 Fashion

Not only is Florence home to some of the greatest artworks in the world, it’s also home to one of the greatest designers in the world; Gucci. When I was in Florence, for €7 I was able to have a tour around the Gucci museum which is an archive from the beginning, right up to recent collections. It explores the story of Guccio Gucci and is honestly a breathtaking display. You can get rather up close and personal with the designs too, so I thought I’d give you a little glimpse…

gucci museum florence italy

gucci museum florence italy

gucci museum florence italy

locationLOCATION: Piazza della Signoria, Florence, IT  🇮🇹

I know that these days Gucci may not be the most ethical brand in the world (reading Stitched Up is really opening my eyes up to how it’s not just the high street causing the problems), but the heritage of the brand is really interesting to me, especially since I’ve been spending time in Italy. The booklet that I was given upon my entry to the museum describes the story…

“Situated in the heart of Florence, the museum is an homage to the city where Gucci’s story began. It was here in 1921 that Guccio Gucci founded the company which bore his name and which would go on to become a global powerhouse whose indisputable appeal transcends all ages and cultural backgrounds. At the turn of the 20th century, Guccio Gucci worked as a liftboy at London’s Savoy Hotel. It was here, whilst appraising the elegant manners of the hotel’s high society guests, that the young Gucci hit upon the idea of founding a leather goods enterprise that married an upper class British sensibility with impeccable Italian craftsmanship.”

gucci museum florence italy

gucci museum florence italy gucci museum florence italyFor me, one of the most interesting parts of the museum was seeing the progression from the very earlier designs and products to the newer collections and ranges, whether they be lifestyle or fashion. It’s actually a really great example of change (which I spoke about recently here – nice bit of self promotion, Tolly) and how brands develop over time… years in fact. There’s a wonderful archive of pieces from the earliest years, right up until now. You can even go down into the store afterwards, and experience even more of what Gucci has become.

There’s detailed insights into different, iconic Gucci elements, like the Flora print and the Double G logo. The Flora print was commissioned by Rodolfo Gucci (one of Guccio’s son), with Vittorio Accornero completing the commission, which became an eye-catching and unique design to be worn by Princess Grace of Monaco in 1966. More than forty-five years later, and the print is still being reworked and updated to keep up with the seasonal trends.

gucci museum florence italy

gucci museo 20

gucci museum florence italy gucci museum florence italy

For an aspiring designer who’s never lived in the world of wearing designer clothes, it did feel quite surreal to all of a sudden be up close and personal with it. It’s like being transported into a different world, one which has been changing and evolving over the years to become an iconic symbol of power and class, as well as creativity and innovation of classic Italian design. Although as I stated at the beginning, there’s a lot to be done to even make sure brands like Gucci are doing their best, it really is quite interesting to delve into where it all began, and learn more about how something genuinely can come from just a single spark of an idea.

If you’re in Florence, I definitely recommend you taking a look at the museum, or maybe even having a coffee in the cafe, and a browse at the book store which is full of some of my all time favourite fashion reads. I promise this is in no-way sponsored, it’s just a really great gem that some people might miss in the craziness of the Uffizi Gallery, just next door!

Have you been to the Gucci museum? What do you know about Gucci? Let me know in the comments below!

Lots of Love… Tolly Dolly Posh xx

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