[Please click to enlarge: collage of my own photos from the show. iPad courtesy of Grazia and Apple, as part of the Grazia Fashion Blogger of the Year competition].
There aren’t many designers who would base a collection around their mum, but after seeing Holly Fulton’s Autumn/Winter 2012 offering from the front row, no less, I can safely say that Mrs. Fulton has great taste. “She works at the Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh, which was a main inspiration for this collection. She also wears a lot of all-blue outfits,” said Holly after the show, which was a riot of turquoise, teal, and mid-blue contrasted with cerise pink.
[All images my own, except for Botanical Gardens from gardenvisit.com].
As ever, Holly’s signature graphic style took hold, with bold black prints of greenhouses, butterflies and palms being accented with diluted shots of colour on satin dresses, tailored trousers, knitwear and long jackets, often using a 1960s slim-line silhouette. A surprise element came from lappet panels on skirts (think Roman Centurion’s costume but cooler), which broke up the form and patterns.
Attention was particularly drawn to the models’ backs, where designs often culminated in Pop Art-style details of jagged lines like lightning bolts or blue waves. This was where Holly’s love of art really came across; she told me that “fashion and art are paired together for me – they’re inextricably linked, particularly with [artist and fellow Scot] Edward Paolozzi, whose images end up in my collages.” Holly’s pieces can often feel like collages themselves, with mixed materials such as Perspex and PVC.
[Eduardo Paolozzi's work].
Accessories-wise, things were definitely shaken up here, with a move towards clusters of sparkly jewels, oversized bow clutches and fur bags that collectively had a 1980s feel, which reminded me of a previous collection (S/S2011) where she cited Joan Collins as an influence. I could just see Joan, big sunglasses and sharp shoulders á la Dynasty, loving Holly’s designs.
I sometimes think that Holly Fulton’s clothing reminds me of armour, as it projects an image of a strong and confident woman, whatever decade she’s channelling. This collection certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of battle-ready clothing, especially with the embellished metal top that closed the show, but even in her feminine dresses you could feel all-powerful. I’ve definitely got the Fulton blues for next season.
[The view from the front row...]
[A brilliant show from Holly Fulton].