Dazed & Confused
Holly Fulton Continues To Sparkle
Text and styling: Nobuko Tannawa
Photography: Ellis Scott
Holly Fulton’s eye-popping designs are difficult to miss. Featuring both vivid colours and sharp contours, Fulton expresses a joyful sort of geometry that forgets all the starkness of recent structuralism and embraces a new high energy aesthetic instead. Deservedly taking out the Scottish Young Designer of the Year award, and once again set to grace Fashion East with her forward thinking designs, Fulton is as charmingly humble as she is inimitably talented. Here, Fulton talks enthusiastically to Dazed about her illustrious win, the lead up to Fashion East, the intricacy of her design process and the sheer elation of fulfilling it…
Dazed Digital: Congratulation on winning the Scottish Young Designer of the Year Award. How was the event?
Holly Fulton: It was obviously lovely to win! I genuinely didn't mind if I did or not as one of my friends was up for the award too and I would have been equally happy if she'd got it! I hope it is some testament to everyone that’s supported me like Lulu Kennedy and everyone at Fashion East, Swarovksi and my patient friends and family and its always nice to have your work appreciated by a wider audience.
DD: What was it like working with Swarovski?
Holly Fulton: They have always been very supportive and have never told me anything is impossible no matter what I show them! I started to work with them as soon as I got back from Lanvin and their enthusiasm for my work has always been amazing. I love using the Crystallised-Swarovski elements and it's no compromise on my design as they just fit in perfectly with my ethos and love of geometry and colour. I have been lucky to use pieces from the bathroom range in my jewellery - as with everything I do, the bigger the better!
DD: Seeing your garments in person, they are really beautifully detailed. Can you talk us through your process of making the heavily patterned perspex dresses?
Holly Fulton: I never plan what I am going to do pattern wise before I start. I have ongoing research themes that I love and often look to for inspiration such as pop art, art deco, the work of Paolozzi, and I will draw and design from whatever I see in the course of collating my ideas for each season. I will cut the garment shape pattern first then hand draw the exact tiling/pattern of the perspex. This is probably one of the things that takes the longest; every hole in every piece must be drawn to scale. It’s then scanned and a colour-coded version of the pattern is sent to my illustrator expert in London! She converts it to computer file then it’s off to be laser cut. When I get the cut pieces I lay it all out and start stitching by hand and one garment could take up to four days!
DD: Where can we buy your current collection?
Holly Fulton: For A/W09 only the jewellery is available exclusive to Browns in London and Debut NY in NY! Orders can be done through my own site hollyfulton.com
DD: How is the preparation for the next season's Fashion East Catwalk presentation during London Fashion Week going? Can you give us some hints of what to expect?
Holly Fulton: It’s going - probably not quickly enough, but it never is! S/S 10 is a continuation from this A/W collection. It will feature some of my signature elements and techniques such as laser cutting, contemporary embellishment, statement jewellery and vibrant colours. The use of Crystallised-Swarovski elements with assorted materials is something I am very excited about and will form the centerpieces of the collection. Print is a new avenue that also excites me and will be carried forward into the clothing and accessories.
The collection is inspired largely by Eduardo Paolozzi. I love his work and looked to pop art, art deco and Wiener Werkstätte during the research stages. My colour range was largely inspired by the vibrancy and contrast in his work and the juxtapositioning of pattern and object influenced my approach to decoration this time. I wanted to work further into the techniques people have picked up on from this season and build on these to begin establishing my style and name as a designer. It is also heavily influenced by architecture and New York because I'd love to go there for my holidays again!
I would describe my style as being a contemporary reworking of couture techniques with modern materials and an individual approach to decoration and colour. I always aim to capture the attention to detail of couture within a simple, modern silhouette and add my signature embellishments with a variety of unexpected materials. I always look to inspiration that I love and believe in my work-I have to love it as it takes quite a long time to make!