Count Holly Fulton
among the London designers newly inspired by L.A. This past March, Fulton took her first ever trip to the City of Angels, and she swept both its Hollywood flimflam and its wide-open vistas into her epic good cheer. Her new collection emphasized West Coast blue, and like SoCal's endless, cluttered skyline, there was lots of stuff here vying for your attention. Giant roses. Tiny naked ladies. Dresses made out of see-through plastic or upholstery cane. The clothes were frequently ridiculous, but they were also, improbably, convincing. Fulton's charm is her conviction—if she decides to make a motif of roses, well, those roses are going to be the most poptastic ones you've ever seen. In this instance, the roses were primarily photorealistic and collaged onto clothes in surreal, out-of-scale ways. The naked ladies were another key theme, with Fulton creating a smile-inducing chevron print from illustrated pinup girls that she applied to casual looks redolent of fifties diner-and-drive-through American suburbia. Elsewhere, she went upscale and sleek, making (relatively) pared-back pencil dresses marked by python detailing and skin-flashing cutouts. Fulton advanced her own idiosyncratic vocabulary in subtle ways here. Her Deco graphics, for instance, were shorn of their signature black lines, and so receded into the background of her designs. A lot of pieces on the runway this season felt experimental—a remarkable pink plastic dress covered in photorealistic raffia roses, for one—and Fulton acknowledged, after her show, that she mostly made those pieces because creating them was fun. The mood was contagious.