An Interview With Holly Fulton

Exploring the Pop Art, Aboriginal and other influences of London's quickly-rising fashion designer Holly Fulton

Back in April, we introduced you to Holly Fulton, and the quickly-rising fashion designer’s latest Spring/Summer collection. Following up on her recent successes and newest pieces, we sat down for a conversation with the young clothier to discuss her various influences.

hollyfulton_1.jpg hollyfulton_2.jpg hollyfulton_3.jpg

The Edinburgh native took the fashion world by storm when she debuted her A/W 2009 collection at London Fashion Week. Standing out against muted palettes and predictable designs, Fulton’s work was an explosion of color, art deco styling, graphic realization and clashing materials. Her simple, yet sophisticated pieces instantly fueled the idea that fashion is indeed art.

Since then Fulton has grown in popularity, adored and revered by editors, stylists and that oh-so-effortlessly-cool girl on the street. In her own words, “selfish about her design”, Fulton creates pieces that she “would want to wear or think is right at the time” and finds inspiration in, “art deco; pop intense qualities, aboriginal art; jewelery in many forms; collections—I am shocking hoarder and collect many things including 60s clocks, Swedish glass, books of any sort and objects shaped like hands.”

hollyfulton_4.jpg hollyfulton_5.jpg hollyfulton_6.jpg

Despite over a decade of design experience (Fulton graduated from Edinburgh College of Art with a BA (Hons) in fashion in 1999), Fulton took her time building her name; carefully creating a business that was sustainable and successful. “The best advice I ever received was that 75% of businesses go bust in the first two years. I was told to sort out production and business first or I’d never make it. That concept terrified me at the time but it was totally true and I always kept it in mind.”

The hard work paid off with Fulton now in control of an award-winning label coveted by British and Italian Vogue as well as numerous fashion icons across the globe. “I’m not so fussed about celebrities being in my clothes,” admits Fulton, “The biggest compliment of all is seeing someone wearing my designs on the street—someone who has bought it off the rack and exhibited a genuine desire to wear it because it appeals to them.” The first time this happened was in 2000 when Fulton spotted someone “in a turquoise coat from my degree collection. It’s etched forever in my memory—those moments give you a true buzz.”

hollyfulton_7.jpg hollyfulton_8.jpg hollyfulton_9.jpg

And while Fulton rejoices in the everyday woman donning her items, she’s not so excited about the prospect of them doing in so in high street rip-offs. “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery so at least it shows your work is popular across the board, but I do find it disheartening that high street stores don’t just pay new designers to do something for them and give them a hand, rather than just pinch their designs.”

When she’s not designing Fulton spends her hours drawing, reading “at the moment Keith Haring’s Journal” and listening to Jarvis Cocker. “I don’t really look at blogs. You see too much stuff [on there] saying you are shit and frankly, I’d rather not know—I spent years being not quite me, then when I finally felt comfortable in my own skins, things started to happen.”