14 posts tagged "Holly Fulton"
“I like a lot of embellishment and I like a lot of print,” said Holly Fulton. She might have been speaking for all her fellow English designers at the London Showrooms, the traveling, British Fashion Council-sponsored showcase which arrived in New York this week, following a stint in L.A. It’s almost a cliché that London designers trend bright and buzzy, but it’s become something of a calling card for the young talents nurtured by the BFC. To tweak the old saw, go big or stay home.
Fulton served up her groupie-inspired Fall collection, which featured lava-rock embellishments, hand-drawn prints, and a rather impressive dress constructed entirely of feathers. Others, like Simone Rocha (above), who’s currently selling stateside in Jeffrey and Opening Ceremony, offered less print but more color. Her key pieces were voluminous waffle-knitted neoprene looks in what she laughingly referred to as “Pepto pink.” Thomas Tait also played on unexpected fusion of spongy, bonded leather and quilted nylon in Day-Glo oranges and lime greens. “I feel like I’ve been shouting,” said Tait, whose line is also carried at Jeffrey. “I’ll be doing something mellower next season.”
Meanwhile, Fyodor Golan, designed by Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman, balanced elegant, elaborately embellished print dresses with more playful leather pieces embossed with smiley faces. Turns out Smiley—the company that owns the rights to the icon—approached the duo for a collaboration, and they jumped at the chance to create, as Frydman put it, a “sexual smiley.” Another duo, Teatum Jones (that is to say, Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones) showed bright, seemingly tie-dyed dresses in perforated bonded jersey, as well as a few particularly interesting coats in latex-coated alpaca wool. Yet a third duo, Palmer//Harding, also in attendance, used a similarly clever technique on their wools to make them look like leather.
Men’s designers were on display, too, and they came with news to share. James Long whispered that half the designers showing on the Paris calendar had called to personal-order his sweater knitted with a giant picture of Divine. Agi Mdumulla and Sam Cotton of Agi & Sam had news of an offbeat football (read: soccer) and owl-inspired capsule collection they’ll launch at Topman next month. And jeweler Dominic Jones revealed he’ll show his first-ever men’s collection during June’s London Collections: Men. In the meantime, he was showing his mainline collection as well as his recently-launched lower priced range, DJ by Dominic Jones. “I wanted to make something that all my friends could afford,” he said when asked about the gold-plated and bright enamel collection of baubles, which average about $100 apiece.
The upcoming Summer Olympics have inspired plenty of designers to think sporty. But even those without court and pool on the mind are celebrating the event in their own ways. The Games are on English soil this year, so U.K. retailer Matches is indulging in a little well-deserved patriotic peacocking. The store commissioned a handful of London’s young guns—Jonathan Saunders, Erdem Moralioglu, Mary Katrantzou, Richard Nicoll, Holly Fulton, Roksanda Ilincic, J.W. Anderson, and the label Herself—to design limited-edition T-shirts whose proceeds will benefit the Disposessed Fund, which fights poverty in London. “London is the center of attention at the moment with the Jubilee and Olympics right around the corner,” said Saunders (above, with a model in his design). “Not to mention the fact it has become the epicenter of such innovative design. I’m just happy to be a part of it in my own way.” His own way being one that won’t look at all out of place once the Games have bestowed their final medal and gone on their merry way. The shirts retail for £60 each (about $94) and are available today at Matches stores and www.matchesfashion.com for those outside the country.
Some arena-playing rock bands travel less than young London’s designers. Those blessed by the British Fashion Council as part of the roving London Showrooms coterie have been on a whistle-stop world tour of late, hitting Paris, Hong Kong, L.A., and now, finally, New York, where they set up shop this morning to show their Spring wares to U.S.-based editors and buyers. To judge from the group assembled—including James Long, Thomas Tait, J.W. Anderson, Holly Fulton, Louise Gray, Marios Schwab, and milliner Nasir Mazhar—the journey may have tired them, but it didn’t dampen their enthusiasm. Almost every designer queried revealed he or she had picked up international stockists along the way; among the city’s reigning favorites, Long and Anderson drew the most attention, but even the youngest in the crowd can now boast increased U.S. visibility. Central Saint Martins grad Simone Rocha, who showed her first solo outing this Spring after a few seasons under the umbrella of Fashion East, now sells her vintage-lace dresses, fluoro tulle sheer layering skirts, and plastic raincoats at Opening Ceremony. Craig Lawrence, a 2011 NEWGEN winner who showed loose-weave knits and cropped, elasticized jumpers, is at several Henry Beguelin locations. Interested buyers were swarming, suggesting more reach is at hand for many present.
New categories and techniques were on display, too. Jeweler and sculptor Jordan Askill introduced pieces with ethical amethyst, sourced from a mine in Zambia, which he worked into silver pieces with his trademark swallows (below left). (A giant swallow cuff, which opened to reveal a hidden compartment, blurred the line between his two pursuits.) Also in the new collection were his first fine-jewelry pieces, with tiny diamonds surrounding a faceted, hand-carved swallow pendant. Holly Fulton had begun working with mother-of-pearl for accessories and real seashells for statement-making jackets; the trick, she confided, is finding shells of uniform shape. Tait, whose finely wrought, voluminous pieces suggest Couture shapes, had a surprising new footwear collaboration: a set of crisscrossed trainers he designed with Nike. (He was wearing a pair himself, as was a model; he had no plans to produce them, he revealed, but persistent interest on the part of buyers may change all that.) And Sibling’s Cozette McCreery was on hand to show off her knitwear label’s first official women’s line, Sister by Sibling. Women had been ordering small men’s sizes for so long, she said, that she and her co-designers, Sid Bryan and Joe Bates, decided finally to cut and knit for them. They were cropped neon and sequin leopard tops (left) and two complementary, sweatshirt-style sweaters emblazoned with the words LOVE and HATE. They’d sold, she said, about evenly, though she expected more interest in LOVE. Call it a knitted insight into the human race.
Balenciaga lately got a museum exhibition in San Francisco, but the late Spanish couturier is about to have a home to call his own—and in his hometown, no less. Queen Sofia of Spain inaugurated the Balenciaga Institute in his native Getaria, which showcases 90 of his designs; it opens to the public on Friday. [Racked]
Natalia Vodianova is spreading the love. This year, the model, who hosts a yearly charity Love Ball for the Naked Heart Foundation, has asked 40 of her designer friends to create dresses for auction at Christie’s. [Modelinia]
Everything’s coming up Koma. London designer David Koma is one of the several designers who, it was announced last night, will be supported by London’s NEWGEN sponsorship for the upcoming season. He shares the distinction with fellow young talents Holly Fulton, Mary Katrantzou, Louise Gray, and Michael Van Der Ham. [Vogue U.K.]
Karl Lagerfeld has yet to make his first venture in comic books, but in the meantime, he’s adding crystal to the list of his innumerable side projects. The designer has teamed up with Orrefors to create a line of crystal stemware and vases, launching this fall. What better glass for your custom Karl-designed can of Diet Coke? [WWD]
It’s surely a coincidence—right?—that the first day the London Showrooms and its clutch of young designers hit New York, so did a blast of rainy, London weather.
It didn’t stop the mass of editors who came for the Showrooms’ press viewing at the Soho Grand yesterday, where Mary Katrantzou, Holly Fulton, Michael van der Ham, J.W. Anderson, and more of the city’s up-and-comers (and their collections) were holding court. No surprise to find a crush at the penthouse suite. Interest in British fashion feels greater than at any time in recent memory. “I feel like London’s been an emerging talent itself for such a long time and I think it finally felt like it emerged,” said the day’s hostess, Sarah Mower, the British Fashion Council’s ambassador for emerging talent. “There’s been a real coming together, a critical mass of talented people who have been working away quietly and methodically for such a long time. Suddenly we had really strong collections from Meadham Kirchhoff [above], Mary Katrantzou, Christopher Kane, Erdem; they look mature now—they’re proper small businesses who people are really taking notice of…there’s a buzz with substance behind it in town.”
Katrantzou agreed. “I got a feeling that with some people, something clicked, and it was very real,” she said of the response to her Fall show (left). “They came to the showroom and you felt that it was very positive—I was amazed to feel that response.” Her koi-pond print pieces and fleurette-dotted dresses remain showpieces, but Katrantzou also expanded into knitwear this season, an especial boon for retailers. “It brings a completely different story for people to buy into,” she explained.
Men’s designer Tim Soar was also celebrating a season of firsts: his first full womenswear collection, with menswear-inspired pieces, like a raw-edged tuxedo jacket and a blocked, backless dress that had begun life as men’s suiting separates. In its first season, the line has already been picked up by some of London’s best stores. Looking at his covetable leathers, like a long, black leather skirt and a fur-collared varsity jacket, it wasn’t hard to imagine why.
Holly Fulton’s Coco Chanel-in-Scotland-inspired collection was also on display, with bright red lip prints not only appearing on silk maxi dresses and printed pants, but also on oversized enamel earrings. Fulton is working on a new project, she whispered, one that transcends the fashion sphere—her graphic prints being especially adaptable to such things—but wouldn’t say more for the moment.
Jonathan Anderson of J.W. Anderson—another menswear designer who recently added women’s to his repertoire—was exciting special attention as well. (Mower singled him out as especially promising among the new guard.) His paisley-print tops (left) and angora knits—long dresses for women, cropped sweaters for men—were exciting in a kind of loony, late-sixties way. His collection looks modern, but as Mower pointed out, Anderson, like many of his compatriots, is using older techniques and long-established craftsmen; his outerwear, for example, is made by the same factory that makes jackets for the English gunmakers Purdey and Sons. Meadham Kirchhoff, showing in a room across the penthouse, sources English-made Linton tweed (the same tweed, incidentally, Coco Chanel herself used to use). “One thing I’m really excited to see is that all this great production is being done in the U.K. It’s really precious to all of this generation that things are made by craftspeople near home,” Mower said. “Without being tub-thumping about sustainability and the rest of it—that’s [just] what’s close to them.”