Holly Fulton backstage at Digital Fashion Week 2013. Image: Sara Jane Ong
The breezy voice of Noosha Fox filled the runway as model and winner of The Face Devyn Abdullah opened the Holly Fulton show at Digital Fashion Week 2013. Wearing a denim pinafore dress with an art-deco-seque print layered over a sheer collared shirt, Abdullah’s steps moved to the swaying beat of the song “Only You”.
We learnt earlier that this was the very same song Holly Fulton’s boyfriend played for her when they first started dating. The Scottish designer’s cheeks flared red as she recalled this memory, like a woman in love, just minutes earlier during our interview with her. Her beau’s music choice would lead to the same song opening her spring summer 2014 show. The era that Noosha Fox – lead singer of the band The Fox – gained popularity in, the 1970s, would also serve as the foundation for the SS14 collection.
Easy, breezy looks from Holly Fulton’s Spring Summer 2014 collection. Images: Sara Jane Ong
“I wanted this season’s woman to be that bit more feminine, floaty and ethereal and started looking at Noosha Fox. Noosha Fox is quite a fun flamboyant character but still quite soft and girlie with her own style. I wanted to take her as an inspiration – a strong woman who lives in the ’70s. The collection has a strong graphic style and is a little more grown up. More feminine, very ladylike with a softer pastel kind of palette,” explained Fulton.
True to this description, the models that walked down the Catwalk Space runway had on sparkly swingy earrings and a breezy attitude that marked the disco era. Fulton paid tribute to the year she was born – 1977 – with the numbers “77” emblazoned across sweaters and even a floral applique sweater dress.
The floral appliques and prints, fan details from cut-outs to the shape of the darling clutches were teamed with flying cranes and watercolour goldfish prints. These traditional Orientalist design elements were transferred onto tailored pieces like a three-piece pencil skirt suit and flowy shirtdresses that would have been right at home at Studio 54.
The year 77, florals, bird and goldfish print were featured in Holly Fulton’s Spring Summer 2014 collection. Images: Sara Jane Ong
Fulton shared: “I wanted some sort of literal references from the flowers, storks and fish – a tongue in cheek nod to that kind of movement (European Orientalism art back in the ‘70s).”
But what really stole the show was Fulton’s expertise in fabrication that also showed in her – and our – favourite pieces in the spring summer 2014 collection. “Cork is surprisingly easy to work with. I love fabrication and working with materials is what drives my work. David Hicks, a famous interior decorator back in the ’70s, used it as wallpaper and flooring. I thought it would be interesting to try and it turned out to be incredibly easy to work with just like a fabric.”
An upclose look at the cork pieces from Holly Fulton’s Spring Summer 2014 collection. Images: Sara Jane Ong
The result of days of cutting by hand were a series of gorgeous cork pieces – from a strapless dress, skirt and even a bomber jacket – that simply blew us away. The designer takes pride in her handiwork, “I love long jobs, it took quite a few days cutting it all by hand and it was time consuming but it gave me a lot of pleasure to have hands on involvement in the collection.”
The denim pieces from Holly Fulton’s Spring Summer 2014 collection. Images: Sara Jane Ong
Fulton made everything special, including good old denim. The ‘70s staple took on a fresh look – four to five different kinds of denim were bonded together to create a pattern that appears like a print on first look. Up close, the pieces have depth and texture – a one of a kind creation.
Holly Fulton’s spring summer 2014 collection blew us away and brought back that laidback ’70s vibe; of when “love was in the air”. There was nary a look that fell flat and we lapped everything up eagerly. We hope that the designer will return to Singapore and grace us with her genius once again.
Watch the amazing Holly Fulton Spring Summer 2014 show below.
The Holly Fulton Spring Summer 2014 show took place at the National Design Centre on November 4, 2013. All Digital Fashion Week shows are televised live online at www.digitalfashionweek.com, plus.google.com/+DigitalFashionWeek/posts, www.facebook.com/DigitalFashionWeek, www.youtube.com/DigitalFashionWeek and digitalfashweek.tumblr.com/. Follow Digital Fashion Week on Twitter at @DigitalFashWeek and Instagram at @DigitalFashionWeek for more updates.
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