Fashion Revolution Weekwas created after the Rana Plaza factory disaster in 2013. The factory home to many big name fast-fashion brands collapsed, killing over 1,100 people and injuring thousands more. In order to create change within the fashion industry, transparency is needed across the board as well as commitment to ethics and sustainability. Fashion Revolution asks you to get involved by sharing a photo/selfie of your favourite clothes asking the brand, #WhoMadeMyClothes?
One of the ways Fashion Revolution is trying to inspire people to care more about their wardrobe’s impact is getting them to write a ‘love story’ to some of the items we own so that we can spend a moment to really appreciate what hangs on all of our hangers or what is tucked away in our drawers…
Dear Metallic Dr Martens,
Honestly, I didn’t spend a single penny on you (the perks of being a blogger), but that doesn’t mean that I don’t value you. You took months to wear in and your laces now need repairing, but you still look as shiny and beautiful as ever.
I don’t know who made you but I would like to find. I’d like to think you’ll last me well as that’s what DMs are meant to do.
One of the saddest words is ‘almost’. I almost didn’t have you in my life. You attract people to you; you’re vibrant and bold and joyful in your yellow hue. So, it’s no surprise that on the day you entered my life you were being pulled in different directions because other people like you so much too!
I was unsure of you at first but I haven’t stopped loving you or wearing you and because you’re so durable and of such a high quality, even though you’ve been loved before, I know that I will continue to do so.
With my blog picking up speed again and life distracting me, this season’s fashion month hasn’t been on my radar all that much but I asked those of you who follow me on Twitter if you’d like to see me do a few illustrations of what did catch my attention and you said yes! So, without further or do, here’s a small selection of my favourite collections from LFW Autumn Winter 2017…
~ ASHISH AW17 ~
I don’t think it was to anybody’s surprise that politics would be a huge theme throughout the upcoming season’s collections. Although I’m sure some people are opposed to the idea of focusing on a message rather than style, I think in current times it is vital we use as many platforms as possible to stand up for what we believe in, and fashion is one of the most important ways to do so, especially as what we wear is usually a good indicator of what is important to us.
Every piece in the collection was themed around something that is topical, especially within America, including diversity, unity and LGBTQ+ rights. It was still prominently ASHISH but it’s clear that it wasn’t just about creating a new collection, it was about showing that the industry and people within it will not stand for what is being proposed and changed. As one of the pieces suggest, there is a lot of unfinished business to be dealt with and I’m so thankful that it was ASHISH pointing it out.
~ FYODOR GOLAN AW17 ~
I love Fyodor Golan and upon looking a little closer at this collection (thanks to LOVE magazine), I love this collection too. Another collection which has a statement to it, a lot of the pieces were based around female empowerment and the ideas and values of a modern woman. There are also novelty elements like the velcro Post-It notes which to me, are some of the most creative novelty elements to a collection I’ve seen in a while.
I can’t help but also believe that the rainbows and bold colours mixed in with the love-themed slogans are also a nod to the idea of ‘love is love’. It’s current, it’s inventive and it’s strong.
~ HOUSE OF HOLLAND AW17 ~
If I’m going to make the more political collections a focus of this post, then perhaps I should highlight House of Holland due to the fact it is heavily inspired by American themes and those iconic Wild West styles. If you’ve been following my reviews of fashion week for long enough then you’ll know I’ve dipped in and out with my love of HoH, but the prints and shapes are definitely a winner.
And tell me I’m mistaken but it also all seems rather ‘Bowie’ with those aforementioned shapes; fitted but with movement and life, and a whole lot of texture. I’m sure the slogan sweaters and tees will be a huge hit too.
~ ERDEM AW17 ~
A clash between British and Turkish influences, Erdem focused on combining classic traditions across the board. I always find with Erdem’s collections that they feel heavily luxurious and this is no exception. There were velvets and patchworking and ruffles and sheer embroidered dresses and there were beautifully dark jewel tones which felt perfectly autumn/winter.
It feels like the sort of collection you would find raiding an old vintage shop, with pieces from every kind of woman and every kind of past; a grandmother’s dressing up box.
What were some of your favourite LFW Autumn Winter 2017 collections? Would you like me to do and MFW round-up? Let me know in the comments!
Don’t get me wrong, I love charity shops. I have absolutely nothing against them being scattered around full of hidden gems and cheap as chips clothing ready to be worn. Of course I’m not going to start stopping you from shopping in them because not only does it generate money for charities which do such incredible work for different causes, it also makes for more sustainable shoppers and consumers. I would say most of my wardrobe is second-hand and I’ve written many times about why I want you guys to rediscover pre-loved items, too.
The issue of charity shops doesn’t stem from the shopping or what’s on the shop floor, it stems with what we send to them and what we believe is actually ending up there. I understand that some more local, individual charity shops may not experience what I’m going to discuss and that there is actually a need for more items in order to keep the shop up and running, but for the most part in fact, only 10% of clothing donated to charity shops will actually end up being hung up and put onto rails (according to To Die For by Lucy Siegle). We have to think about it similarly for clothes bins.
I remember a few years ago before ethics and sustainability were in my mind, I watched a documentary by the BBC about what truly happens to our clothes once they’re collected from places like clothes bins. I’ve started learning more about this journey not only from the aforementioned book, To Die For, but also from a new read of mine, Clothing Poverty, which describes this in its first chapter.
The clothing that can’t be sold in charity shops or genuinely recycled, is often shipped off in plastic-wrapped bulk bales to areas of Africa. The documentary I watched explored the capital of Ghana in West Africa where every three days, bales are delivered. They met a seller who purchases these bales, the t-shirts and trousers of which had all been purchased through UK charities. Our donations are bought for profit and then delivered to developing countries for locals to purchase themselves and once again sell on, in order to gain income.
You might be thinking at this point that it’s a great way to keep people afloat? Well, actually, there’s a huge risk in purchasing a bale. In To Die For, Lucy explains how one seller could only look through the plastic wrapping to work out what they would be able to sell on. When the communities are already suffering from poverty, they have to rely on what the sorters of our donations have decided to send on meaning that if the clothes are unwanted, they have technically wasted money they could have used to keep providing for their family.
It also adds to the decline of the fashion and textile industry in these areas due to the fact that the poor rely so heavily on our cast-offs to wear. After telling my dad this, he said to me that “It now makes sense why we see European brands and football shirts being worn in documentaries just like that”.
This is only a brief introduction into the cycle of where our donations end up. We might think when we do a wardrobe clear-out that we’re making the most conscious decision of sending them off elsewhere, but really, due to the amount of clothes being thrown out, there are many downsides to doing just that. I’ve watched a couple of YouTube videos about spring cleaning recently and it shows how easy it can be to dispose of an item we don’t want, to a charity shop or a clothes bin because we then believe we are no longer responsible for that item – it will go towards something good. I believe we need to stop relying so heavily on these easy-outs and start not only making much better, greener decisions, but also start profiting from our clothes ourselves.
Having a ‘closed loop’ industry is a big aim for many (where everything that is created is then recycled and put back into the cycle) and it seems to start with focusing on where our clothes are coming from – so why aren’t we focusing on where they go too? I’ve listed a few alternatives which might help you the next time you go to sort out what you already own…
Depop & eBay…
If you want to start profiting from your own clothes, one of the more modern ways of doing so is by creating a Depop or eBay shop. You can sell on items, name your price or start an open bid, and know that the person who will be receiving them will know exactly where it came from. You’ll earn a small (or large – depending on what you sell) amount and the more you sell, the easier it will become to sell in the future too.
Depop also works a bit like Instagram so if you’re not up for the fees and layout of eBay, that might be the one for you. Many bloggers and influencers use it for their followers to shop their wardrobes, so it’s great for buying as well!
Jumble, Garage & Carboot Sales…
I never know which phrase to use – my mum introduced me to the word ‘jumble’, I know that ‘garage’ is used in the US and I know that in the UK ‘carboot’ is very specific to fields full of cars with clothes hanging out the back, but really what I mean is; selling your clothes within your local community. Get out and join in with an event and pass on your clothes to those in your area. Go to specific sales for clothes or if you own a lot of vintage, sign yourself up to a vintage market. There are so many options and I’m sure you can find somewhere to sell most days of the week.
Not as common as the previous alternative, but clothes swaps are a thing. Nobody is left empty handed because you swap clothes between friends or Facebook groups (a good place to find them), almost like scratching someone else’s back whilst they scratch yours. Not only are these events fun and different, they’re almost always satisfying. It adds a story and some sentimentality to what you add to your wardrobe and what somebody else takes from it.
Speaking of friends and Facebook, why not donate your clothes to those who you know best? Not only will you immediately know who the item will suit, they’ll appreciate the offer and it won’t go to waste. This is especially good if you have newer items in your wardrobe so it will feel more like a gift than just a hand-me-down, which can often create a stigma in the realm of second-hand shopping.
There’s a big difference between upcycling and recycling. Upcycling involves giving an item a new lease of life.Maybe a garment has lost its colour and needs some dye to brighten it back up? Maybe the only reason you’re deciding to pass it on is because it has a hole and some buttons missing? You might still love it, which means it only takes a bit of DIY to keep it from losing its place in your wardrobe.
Take on the ‘make do and mend’ mindset and get out a needle and thread or find someone who might like to upcycle it for you! You can always take a now ill-fitting item to a tailor and get it reworked. There are so many choices to avoid your favourite or unworn pieces being wasted.
What do you do with your old clothes? Let me know in the comments!
Just letting you know I’ve added some more brands to my ethical directory. I’m really happy with how well receieved it’s been, so I hope you like the new additions. Happy ethical shopping!
Huzzah! We’ve reached the final instalment of my LFW Spring Summer 2017 illustrations series! I really hope you’ve enjoyed them. I’m quite exhausted as they do take a while to finish, and that’s without the write-up on top. Let me know which was your favourite in the comments!
~ MARQUES’ALMEIDA SS17 ~
Another collection for LFW that is heavy on the brocade front, as well as the oversized front too. That’s actually something that has surprised me for this upcoming spring/summer season – there’s a lot of heavy weighted fabrics and fits. It’s more masculine in a sense, which perhaps stems from the idea of gender fluid collections.
Marques’Almeida, just like Richard Malone, is fairly new to me, even if it isn’t to others. I think it’s always exciting to discover something new to your own eyes, because you can get a fresh take on what everyone else is already in the know of, and I’m excited to see more of what they have to offer. This was one of my favourite looks, above.
~ TOGA SS17 ~
Something which I always find interesting is when collections are all about the structure and genuine design of the pieces. What I mean by that is; you can see the structure of how things are made. You can see what should be on the inside, on the outside. It’s like a construction drawing come to life; all the lines that were originally sketches, left and not touched.
A mix of influences made up Toga SS17, and once again, the textures and fabrics were unlike the usual spring/summer choices. Everything is tough and substantial, but frills and pleating add that touch of, well, femininity.
I’m going to be taking a quick breather from blog posts for now (I have just worked my socks off with these illustrations), so I’ll be back soon! I guess my drawing tablet and I will see you next season?
The penultimate instalment of my LFW Spring Summer 2017 illustrations are here! Featuring Burberry, ASHISH and yes, you read that title correctly – Crocs; Christopher Kane Crocs to be exact, because the idea seems so novelty to me, I couldn’t miss out on discussing it. Make sure you’re caught up on the past three days here, hereand here.
~ BURBERRY SS17 ~
I think I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m quite a fan of Burberry and it’s menswear, but the great thing about this SS17 season is the fact that we don’t even have to label it menswear. It’s all a part of the whole see-now-buy-now collection (another new expectation for designer collections, I suppose) – gender fluidity; all the lines blurred.
It’s a collection of comfort and Georgian styles, with curtain tassels on velvet capes, as well as 1920s influences. It’s all very soft and flowing, but of course, not lacking in outerwear. Although as I said, we don’t need to class it as menswear specifically, I do tend to gravitate towards the usual Burberry’s menswear line in general – there’s just something much more satisfying in every piece.
~ ASHISH SS17 ~
I’ve always had more respect for ASHISH than other designers, mainly because every collection is always so bold and creative, yet cohesive and wearable from start to finish; but also because of the diversity within their models and the influences and inspirations behind the shows.
ASHISH SS17 is all about Ashish’s Indian roots, and the idea of how love, devotion and faith blend into today’s world and multi-culturalism. The staging was beautiful with coloured lights above head, and a blind traditional musician playing live. It was majestic and gripping and was a true and respectful look into Indian culture. There’s so much controversy around cultural appropriation, but when it comes from the knowledge of someone who is personally involved within the roots of where it all came from, it’s always so much more powerful.
If there’s one collection you click off and take a gander at – it should be ASHISH.
~ CHRISTOPHER KANE X CROCS SS17 ~
And now, of course, the Crocs. A small addition to my illustration series, because I genuinely wanted to discuss the concept and get some feedback from you. What are your thoughts? Is it a true design collaboration? Is it a publicity stunt? Will we be seeing DIY tutorials on how to recreate the look for next summer?
In my opinion, they don’t look terrible, and I am perfectly happy with anyone choosing to wear a pair. I’m just intrigued to see how they work themselves into high fashion organically, and whether we really will be seeing the concept go further than just the Christopher Kane line. Rip-offs (as much as I hate them) are bound to happen, right?
What do you think of the Christopher Kane Crocs? Do you believe in cultural appropriation? Let me know in the comments!
Make sure you’ve caught up on my previous LFW Spring Summer 2017 illustrations hereand here! I’m illustrating two of my favourite looks per day. This time we’re taking a look at Paul Smith and Peter Pilotto…
~ PAUL SMITH SS17 ~
A collection based around photography and an English country garden, it’s quite a different style for Paul Smith, but it works just as every other season does; perfectly. Full of colour and prints, it’s bright and summery and the loose fit and cuts make for perfect pieces to run through fields of wildflowers (which lined the catwalk).
This piece caught my eye because it’s a more three-dimensional take on plaid and checks – the pink squares on this shirt dress have a slight ruching to them which adds to the draping effect of the whole dress. I love how casual it is, and the mix-match style footwear. Really stunning and a fresh new take on Paul Smith’s usual British style.
~ PETER PILOTTO SS17 ~
Sometimes it’s nice to focus on the more fun elements of a collection, but in all; this whole Peter Pilotto collection was fun. It was a floral twist on baroque styles with gold and metallics throughout, as well as embroidered pieces, which were all set alongside bolder, tropical pieces and shapes.
I loved the ‘presence’ this dress came with, but how it still presented itself as casual and wearable with the knitwear on top. Bold colours are always fun to illustrate, and it matches the trend I’ve started to notice for SS17 – primary colours.
What do you think of LFW Spring Summer 2017 so far? Let me know in the comments!
If you didn’t read my last post, then you won’t know that for each day of LFW Spring Summer 2017, I’m going to be posting a couple of illustrations! It’s a more personal way of covering the shows which I, unfortunately, can’t attend this season, so I hope you enjoy taking a look as much as I do making them!
~ MOLLY GODDARD SS17 ~
I’m always in awe of what Molly brings to the table just because she is such a genuine talent and has so much potential and opportunity waiting for her at only 27, and this season definitely didn’t disappoint. It was slightly more wearable than previous seasons in my opinion, with patchwork style hoodies included. It was also a catwalk rather than a presentation like her previous collections have been, which brought to life certain pieces and textures used throughout, like the knitwear and graphic tees.
Although as I said, the collection is more wearable (which I prefer), there were some really eye-catching pieces like this tulle number. The hair and make-up was also really beautiful, so I thought it made for an excellent illustration. Hats off to Molly once again!
~ RICHARD MALONE SS17 ~
As I mentioned in my AW16 LFW review, Richard Malone is a relatively new discovery for me, but a great one nonetheless. Inspired by uniforms across different industries, specifically nursing (notice the NHS blues?), it’s full of simple cuts and tailoring, and lots of small details like easy to access popper closures, as well as the striking Malone stripes and fitting figures.
It was bright and colourful, but in a minimalistic and themed way, and I can’t scratch away that feeling that there’s an underlying hint of Bowie throughout too (or maybe that’s just the makeup)? I’m actually genuinely interested in seeing how many collections pay tribute to him in some way… I guess we’ll have to wait and see!
What are your thoughts on LFW so far? Which illustration is your favourite? Let me know in the comments!
For this season of LFW, I thought I would try something a little different in my coverage of the collections. I usually review the collections using images from elsewhere seeing as I, unfortunately, am unable to attend due to travelling, but I liked the idea of making it more personal to my blog, so for the next few days and for the duration of LFW Spring Summer 2017 (what a mouthful!), I’m going to be posting a few illustrations of some of my favourite stand out pieces from all sorts of designers. To kick things off, I have two sketches based upon Bora Aksu and Teatum Jones…
~ BORA AKSU SS17 ~
I don’t think I’ve actually focused on Bora Aksu in any of my recent fashion week reviews, mainly because I like to mix things up and focus on a variety of different styles, and often with designers which focus on traditional processes and fabric, things can become a little stagnant and uninteresting, but for this summer, it seems like they’re reigning me back in!
I’ve explained this before, but some collections truly are like pieces of art. One of my first thoughts was honestly just, ‘beautiful’. The textures and shapes used are so intricate, and I think that’s a huge selling point for me and designers these days. The idea that a piece can be so thoroughly thought out is actually quite inspiring because it pushes me to think more deeply about my own designs. With woodland and fairy-like themes throughout, it’s no wonder that each dress and garment feels like a fairy tale in its own right, and this yellow number is no exception.
~ TEATUM JONES SS17 ~
I’m so drawn into shows and presentations which have a deeper meaning to them, so I couldn’t not focus on Teatum Jones this season. The show started with a short film about diversity and sexuality; embracing who you are and not letting anyone stand in the way of who you define yourself as and who you love. It was genuinely interesting to listen to, especially as it was coming from real people (all from Glasgow, in a tribute to Scotland). It was interesting to see how it worked its way into the collection itself… in fact, it wasn’t until closer inspection that I saw words like ‘intersexual’ across the backs of jackets.
The collection was a mix of botanical and watercolour inspired floral prints (which I haven’t done much justice in my sketchy illustrative style), alongside primary colours and paint splatters which I can only presume was a nod to ‘painting your own canvas’ and making what you want out of what you have. The textures were beautiful, with silk and merino wool being the main focus. An interesting clash of ideas, but the message behind it all made it fit perfectly together. It’s awesome to see Teatum Jones back in the menswear realm, too!
What are you excited about for LFW spring summer 2017 so far? Let me know in the comments!
Recently I’ve been getting into digital illustration through Adobe Illustrator. I’m much more of a Photoshop kind of gal at heart, but the smooth and silky fluidity of all the tools on Illustrator has partly won me over. I can create lovely effects and much lovelier strokes and lines than I was able to do before (sort of sketchy and imperfect)… I’ve only been practicing on designer imagery so far, but I definitely want to take this style into my own work and designs sometime soon. So for now, I’ll leave you with a couple of my favourite Pre-Spring Summer 2017 collections that I’ve seen so far… in illustrated form of course 😉 I’ve also posted a couple of other illustrations over on my Tumblr, so do take a peep!
~ FENDI PRE-SS17 ~
Fendi is definitely one of my favourite modern designers and the SS17 has so much to prove as to why they should be one of your favourites too! With influences from antique Japanese prints and American flag inspired motifs, it might seem like an odd combination but it blends perfectly. It almost has a fairytale, Alice In Wonderland theme to it, especially with the collection shots. The checkered skirts meet woodland creature like furs (I can’t say it’s faux) and oversized coats. It’s several different things colliding at once but it works well because it shows Fendi’s talent for merging innovation and classic techniques all into one.
~ CHANEL PRE-SS17 ~
Over the past few years I think Chanel has become a much more relatable name and power house, mainly because of what Karl Lagerfeld has started to do with the collections becoming more of a statement to do with topics of the time. This time it was all about Cuba. Not only was the setting an important one, but so was the collection itself. It’s full of texture and depth but in a simplistic way, and I think that’s what you need for a pre-collection. You can read more about it here… it’s quite an interesting one.
~ LOUIS VUITTON PRE-SS17 ~
As pre-collections usually do these days, this collection was off on a travel to Rio, in celebration of the Olympics which are right around the corner. Inspired by athleticism and sports… a display of a young woman who has an edge about her, but might also be straight from the 1980s with her neon coat and a boombox in hand (well, a bag which has bluetooth and can play music, at least).
Where most sporty collections fall short of actually being ‘fashionable’, this collection picks it back up again with ruffled leather and suede paneled shirt dresses. I’m not usually one to gravitate to Louis Vuitton, but I’m certainly intrigued for what’s to come in the main, SS17 collection.
~ BOTTEGA VENETA PRE-SS17 ~
I’m not going to deny the fact I only recently discovered Bottega Veneta through the interwebs (actually an actress from *cough* a certain TV show which we shall not mention because you’ve probably already heard enough about it from me on Twitter or Instagram), but I’m in love with their elegant minimalism.
I love seeing designers who blend modern techniques with old ones, which I suppose is one of the main reasons I’ve chosen all of the designers I have… Bottega has a great way of doing this though, because it’s all on the surface. Their are frills and exciting elements, but they’re obvious ones which make each piece bolder. All of the fabrics look almost edible, especially with the candy colours, which we saw a lot of on the AW16 runways. They’re a nice new discovery, for me, anyway.
What do you think of the Pre-Spring Summer 2017 collections coming in so far? Which are your favourites?
It has been a while since a design post, huh? I find because I’m my own worst critic, that I tend to only want to share work with you that I’m 100% happy with, and that is why my design page may look very empty now… I just need a fresh start and to start showing you things that I’ve actually worked on as proper little projects. Alongside this one, I made draft pattern pieces, and A3 final illustrations (which look a lot better than the digital ones actually)… so there’s a lot more to it than what meets the eye!
~ THE INSPIRATION ~
With the designs that I’ve done more recently, I’ve really tried to take inspiration from anything to get my creativity flowing, and this time I took to the underground French caves! We’ve visited a few when we’ve been over and they really are quite fascinating, and full of different shapes and textures. The main inspiration was this weird wavy crevasse that I saw above our heads and it spiralled into lots of different ideas.
My moodboard is rather small but it actually really helped in thinking up the smaller details for my mini design “collection”. I also realised that the stalagmites reminded me of certain shells with their curves and pointed edges. I also discovered a cool method to highlight inspiration by drawing over with white in Photoshop.. I really like the effect!
~ TULLE DRESS ~
The jagged edges from the caves reminded me of the amazing use of raw and jagged tulle, so I drew up a little dress featuring smaller details like messily folded and pleated hemming and drop back that looks like a crevasse it’s self. The idea is that it would be gathered at the waist but fairly loose and full in the skirt. As tulle is so light it would need several layers and a lining to really bring it altogether.
The dark black pleated detailing reminds me of the deep shadows that are created from artificial lighting deep underground. The pleats would be messy and uneven to create that jagged effect.
~ SILK TOP & BURLAP (TWINE) LONG SHORTS ~
For the next “look” in this mini collection, I decided to use silk on top. After connecting the dots between the shells and the cave, I decided to draw up a floaty and boxy silk top that would have looping curves around the neck, arms and hem line to remind me of the inside of a clam or the smooth water that dripped below the ground. There would be covered buttons on the back with a tab opening also, I just didn’t include it in the basic design!
For the long shorts, they would be a lined pair of raw, burlap material. I call it twine but it’s probably the complete wrong word! They’d hit just on the knee, with the frayed edges almost being a bit of a tickle. The texture and roughness reminds me of the rough cave walls and the big pockets are also a nod to the big drops that plunge into darkness.
What do you think of my cave inspired collection? It’s simple but has a lot of thought in it. Let me know the comments if you’d like to see this style post in the near future!
Welcome to my blog! I'm Tolly aka Tolly Dolly Posh. I'm a 17 year old ethical fashion blogger, and aspiring fashion designer. I like to scrapbook and wander around taking inspiration from all around me. Attempting to become more ethical and sustainable every day! If you want to learn more about me, here's my about page.
Want to get in touch? Email me: email@example.com or check out my Contact page.
Sponsored posts or products which have been sent to me for review will be marked with an *. You can read my full disclaimer here.