For autumn/winter 2016 Fulton has looked to the visionary works of British artist David Inshaw. The surreal tone of his paintings and in particular the lingering shadows, dense, flat colour and bulbous topiary landscape found in his most famous work – The Badminton Game – appealled to Fulton’s love for a certain kind of off-kilter opulence. Inshaw created ‘a dreamlike scene, suffused with an air of magic and mystery and redolent with expectation’.
The season’s camo greens and rich chocolate browns are borrowed from the painting’s graphic, mossy veracity. Shades of buttercup yellow and dirty pink, burnished metallic jacquard and fat velvet, embossed with Swarovski crystal, disturb the collection’s otherwise impish, earthy style. ‘Inshaw is said to have fallen for the women who modelled for the Badminton Game and filled the painting with the sunlight of his passions’. This sense of the outdoors is here not only in the grassy, velvet colour palette and deep nubby textiles; the collection explores the practical needs of the Holly Fulton woman.
On a recent trip to the top of snowy Cairngorm, Fulton found herself wearing only a decades-old family anorak with a broken zip, a silk shirt with matching skirt and a pair of tights. Not surprisingly, this has stimulated a renewed focus on outerwear and warmth. The other worldly terrain and eerie white out at the peak, as well as the mountains unique tactile plantlife also stayed with Fulton. The familiar staples of outdoor pursuits and, in particular, military clothing, are given the full Fulton treatment. Classic six-pocket parka jackets are splashed with symmetrical pattern and come fully-lined in detachable, matted Steiff teddy fur. Three-quarter length coats have full bell sleeves and drippy popper pockets, and are bordered with pattern. Cinched at the waist, they are worn over layered zip-neck fine merino knits made in collaboration with John Smedley. Elsewhere, chunky oversized cable jumpers are studded with Swarovski crystal.
Silk embroidery and velvet print motifs for the season derive from the traditional Scottish paisley. Scientific cellular repeats pulse through metallic jacquards, which are used for flared trousers and panelled into gathered midi dresses. A second ‘sports’ jacquard developed with Avery Dennison is used to build up a modular series of separates, bra-tops, belts and playsuits. Rounded bubble skirts and dresses are embellished with laser-cut organza paisley ruffles. Following on from spring/summer, plongé leather micro box bags are this time studded and embroidered, complete with bugle bead embellished straps. The final flourish of Fulton’s brand of utilitarianism comes from her second collaboration with Christian Louboutin; a Chelsea and heeled ankle boot are in printed velvet or teddy fur.