Holly Fulton Keeps things Clear
Text: Nicholas Remsen
"I am not precious about what people perceive in or associate with my work, just as long as they like it," says 33-year-old, London-based Holly Fulton. It's a sentiment as straightforward and bladed as her now 7-season-old eponymous line. Fulton is renowned in fashion circles for her unique and colorful Art Deco-inspired prints, which have become a pseudo-trademark since her first runway show for Fall 2009. "I don't intentionally draw in a Deco way, I just think very symmetrically," she says. "And all the prints are made by hand."
Fulton's Spring 2012 collection, stocked exclusively in the US at Jeffrey New York, portrays a sort of tragicomic, confetti-colored fifties tropicana with bikinis and bomber jackets printed in sun, coral and zebra stripe motifs. Think: a girl dressed for Vegas but having to vacation somewhere more local (like... Atlantic City, but in all the right ways). For Fall 2012, she pared down her pantones—using only turquoise, fuchsia and black on tailored blazers and outerwear—while finding inspiration in Lady Chatterley's Lover, ie. rich and frisky women misbehaving on their country estates. "Forget the Lord of the Manor—she's had her eye on the gardener for years," read the show notes. "My woman for this season is slightly flushed, lightly perspiring—her hair delicately ruffled," she says, rather brilliantly, then adding, "and I wanted to challenge myself to see if I could restrict the palette."
Her strong, mixed references consistently result in provocative collections. Fulton always manages to layer in a playfulness through her backstories, and, actually, a hyper-modern Britishness to her clothes—especially when considering London is fast becoming known in fashion media and consumption as the 'print capital' of the world. "It's absolutely fair to associate London designers with print, but it is not the only way we can represent ourselves. Watch this space!" Watch we will, Miss Fulton.