Fashion East has a breakout star. She's Holly Fulton, a Scottish textile designer who, since her last tentative showing of a few Art Deco paillette-embroidered T-shirts, has made a stunning leap forward, emerging this season with the whole package: bright, embellished dresses and plastic and crystal neckpieces, earrings, bangles, and printed clutches. As a total summer look, zinging with yellow, orange, white, and peacock blue, it totally worked; there was nothing of the awkward student trying too hard about it, just a wearably chic yet quirky sixties-via-Deco look, with outstanding color sense and decoration loaded into every piece.
Fulton, who said her collection had been triggered by an Eduardo
Paolozzi work called Wittgenstein in New York, received her M.A. at London's Royal College of Art, as did the second designer on the runway, Heikki Salonen. A Finn who has worked with Erdem, Salonen's collection consisted of young, down-to-earth tailoring pieces like vests, walking shorts, and monochrome prints, the starting points of which were English tradition and Scandinavian movies: He'd been watching Ingmar Bergman's Persona.
Also making his debut was Michael Van Der Ham, an alum of Central Saint Martins, who brings the promise of a refreshing kind of glamour to the runway. Patchwork is too folksy a word to describe how he scissors away at mismatching bolts of vintage gold brocades, couture florals, and seventies Lurex and assembles asymmetric and potentially glamourous dresses from them. Van Der Ham, who is Dutch, has also won New Generation funding. Next season, let's hope he'll be back with as much polish as Holly Fulton.