London Lives Series: Holly Fulton's Neo Deco Chic

With the conclusion of New York Fashion Week, we’re dimming the lights on its spotlight-hogging designers and turning our attention toward the birthplace of all hot trends: London. For our London Lives Series series, we profile unknown designers that are on the cusp of explosion as well as need-to-know new boutiques and the trends permeating the streets.

In the lead up to London Fashion Week, we’re kicking the series off with breakthrough designer Holly Fulton. Surpassing all the other shows at last season’s BFC NEWGEN, she offered skyscraper prints and appliques on sharp silhouettes that screamed neo-deco chic. A hot ticket this week at LFW, we asked Fulton for a peak into how she works, her preference for total looks and what expectant editors and buyers will see for fall.

JC Report: Tell us about the evolution of your career in fashion?

Holly Fulton: I received a degree in fashion at Edinburgh College of Art and a post-grad diploma there. I later spent five years doing various things—was abroad, worked as an antique jeweler, then worked for Queene and Belle doing their embroidery and womenswear. After getting an MA at Royal College of Art from 2005-2007, I worked at Lanvin, did freelance with Swarovski, then applied for Fashion East and got it. I showed in February 2009 when my label started.

JCR: What or who inspires your work?

HF: Pop art (especially Eduardo Paolozzi for his imagery and colors), outsider art, Keith Haring, aboriginal art, art deco—especially the jewelry for its boldness and use of line and form.

JCR: Tell us about your current collection?

HF: For autumn/winter ’10 I used snakeskin, suede in applique, Swarovski crystal, perspex, wools, printed habotai and velvet. There’s also digital prints manipulated from various sources within my own work, hand drawn prints, hotfix crystal and some new embellishment. A glass artist called Louis Barillet was also influential—I love his color and use of line. I want to consolidate what I started last season and present a collection that’s easy to wear yet strong, with a vibe of the ’80s cinema du look movement and a certain nonchalant attitude.

JCR: What are you trying to change about how women dress and use accessories?

HF: I’m not trying to change it, just put my own style into it. I believe in carrying a complete look in collections—covering all accessories, garments etc.—and through this it provides numerous ways to translate my style. I would only hope people like what they see and wear it their own way. You can do it top to toe or just as easily take one piece and work it with your own take. It’s the best feeling when you see someone wearing your stuff that you don’t know.

JCR:What has been your best accomplishment in your young career?

HF: I hope it’s still to come. Showing on my own at fashion week in February with Newgen is what’s exciting me most just now, but winning at the Fashion Awards was quite a huge compliment and also a bit surreal—so much has happened in a year that it just provided the most unbelieveable finale.

JCR: What is it about London that makes it such a fantastic place to work in?

HF: It’s open to anything and everyone—contrary to the myth, fashion people are actually quite friendly!

JCR: Any fashion idols?

HF: The actress Jeanne Moreau.

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