“I love fashion and I love art,” says local illustrator Holly Nichols. “I think they complement each other.” Her 360,000-plus Instagram followers would agree. Known for ethereal drawings of ladies sporting romantic gowns, trendy street styles and Mona Lisa grins, Nichols started posting her work in 2013 after graduating from Endicott College with a degree in studio art. “When I started the account, I really had no intentions of making anything out of it,” she says. “It was more of a visual portfolio for me.” But in a matter of months, commissions started rolling in; soon she was able to leave her part-time gig as a teacher’s aide to pursue fashion illustration full-time. “Ten years ago, or even less than that, you would not have been able to have your art exposed at that level,” says Nichols, who notes that her social media presence drives 90 percent of her business. That includes wielding her Copic markers for clients such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Eileen Fisher, Primark, Ted Baker and TRESemmé, which even had her blogging at New York Fashion Week. She took a break from work in her Braintree studio to share a few trends she’s excited about for spring.
The Spanish Influence
“They showed this a lot for spring 2016 in the September shows. I think the designer that highlighted it best was Oscar de la Renta. D&G did as well. A lot of lace and bell sleeves, black and reds,” Nichols says. “In the sketch, I pulled in the sheer black organza with a lace top and collar.”
The New Romantic
“A lot of the Pantone colors of the year, Rose Quartz and Serenity, are here,” Nichols says of this light and airy look. “I was looking at Erin Fetherston’s collection while I did this. And Lela Rose. For her runway show last season, she had roses draped from the ceiling. It was so pretty.”
The Slip Flip
Slips are like something my mom and grandma used to wear! Today, they are fashionable in a way I don’t remember, and they were everywhere last fall on the runway,” Nichols says. “It’s the everyday but trendy dress for 2016,” especially with “leather or denim to contradict the fabric’s delicacy.”