The Future’s Orange, and Pink, and Green, and Red...
Maintaining the reputation of Scotland as a breeding ground of design talent, Louise Gray and Holly Fulton are both part of The British Fashion Council's NewGen scheme, giving young designers a helping hand. With the runaway success of current beneficiary Christopher Kane, it’s crucial to keep tabs on the winners, as they are likely to be influencing what we wear not just this coming autumn, but for many seasons to come. At fashion week Louise and Holly showed the po-faced international fashion elite how to inject colour and charm into their wardrobes, with their sponsored presentations taking place on Saturday, in one of the intimate Portico Rooms at Somerset House, the hub of all Fashion Week activity.
Louise’s playful presentation Quilt Me Change Me was an early highlight, showcasing her tactile pieces with both chirpy, dancing models and a static format that allowed you to pose behind the clothes – think fairground cut-outs. It was the perfect atmosphere for her designs, which were influenced by “the collages of Peter Clarke, the textiles of Shirley Craven, Mbuti tribal art and the Danceteria scene from 80s New York.”
This delightful party atmosphere however took second billing to the real star of her showcase: the materials. Burn out pattern, neon faux fur and quilting all collided in a chaos of colour. The devore technique is traditionally employed with velvet, but Louise uses other layered fabrics from different colour pallettes to create a wonderfully textured surface.
Patterns and shapes were clashed, to create a subtle spectrum of extremely wearable silhouettes that took in masculine shorts and lovely draped feminine confections such as the positively dreamy burn print pink dress. Meanwhile, the needs of the impact dresser were catered for with a patchwork quilted wrap coat and a selection of deep-dyed sheepskin coats.
Despite the misleading title It’s Only Black And White But I Like It, monochrome was only the foundation of Holly Fulton’s beautifully confident collection, which was bold in texture, pattern and colour. A zinging tangerine dress with the emblem of a telephone receiver is the stand out piece of the collection. Speaking about the origin of the quirky graphic, Holly says “I've been looking at this French glass artist called Louis Barillet and I just came across this insane image of this telephone he made. The phone motif is bordering on bad taste, but it's nice to not be too serious!”
The most prominent development is her embracement of textures and materials, with the inclusion of fur, suede, velvet and wool. Speaking to Holly backstage, it is clear that this experimentation is invigorating for her. “I really like artificial surfaces. Texture quality really appeals to me, because my work is all about using unusual materials.”
The concise show demonstrated that whilst her early Art Deco and Pop Art influences remain, she has a voracious eye for new stimulus. Listing muses as diverse as Dr. Zhivago, Glamazon prints and the 1980s French Cinema de Look movement in the same breath, she only lends a small insight into the effervescent world of her clothes.
Design houses also flying the brightly coloured flag included Basso&Brooke with eye popping contrasting digital prints, and both Charles Anastase Osman Yousefzada using colour blocking.