Holly Fulton’s show always puts us in a good mood. Her art-deco-style geometric prints and inspired colour choices never fail to raise a smile. Walking through the red-lit show space, serenaded by Patti Smith’s signature raspy tones over the speakers, we knew we were in for a treat. And boy, were we right.
For this collection, Fulton took us back to the 70s — art college to be more precise — with French actress Beatrice Dalle (she of Betty Blue fame) as muse. The collection evinces a strong woman who knows her own mind and isn’t afraid to use it. And how exactly does that translate into clothes? Sneaking backstage, we were greeted with rail upon rail of exquisitely woven patchwork-leather flare pencil-skirts, haberdashery-print silk cocktail dresses, and billowing, floor-length chiffon maxi skirts emblazoned with blown out Roy Lichtenstein-esque prints and a lipstick motif (our favourite) featured on blouses, pants, and skirts, respectively. The attitude and inspiration was pure punk, but with a totally luxe finish and execution.
Makeup artist Andrew Gallimore and hairstylist Shon were hard at work bringing Fulton’s vision of Dalle to life. “We’ve given the girls big sexy lips like her”, explains Gallimore, adding, "There is a lot of black and red in the collection and we wanted to reflect that in the makeup”. This translated into orange-red matte lips with visible burgundy lipliner while the eyelids were slicked over with black gloss to have the shine and consistency of vinyl. For hair, the buzzword was "effortless," with hero-of-the-day Elnett hairspray. Hands, rather than brushes, were the main instruments to achieve this fluffy knot. As Shon demonstrated (on us!), the hair is gathered at the back and literally knotted into shape before securing with bobby pins.
The models walked the runway with dramatic effect, triggering people to sit up straighter and even lean in, to get a better look at the intricate details. We made mental notes about which items we’d like to have in our wardrobe (an embellished biker jacket) as British Fashion Council Chairman Natalie Massenet, sitting front row, was all smiles. We imagine she must have approved.