Scottish designer Holly Fulton sent a very clear message this morning with her fall/winter 2014 collection: geek girls are pretty, too. More often than not, models with vision issues are required to wear contacts or else stumble blindly down a very blurry runway. However, as Ms. Fulton’s show started this morning, a large number of the models were sporting her gold wire-rimmed glasses. Now, from a pure practicality standpoint, I am assuming the glasses were not prescription and it is worth noting that as the models changed clothes the glasses were absent from the second look. Whether or not the models would normally wear glasses, I don’t know. Still, the message came across very strongly. Glasses can be pretty and the people who wear them already are.
Holly Fulton likes pretty things and designs pretty things and that has never been more true than with today’s collection. Heavy with prints that mix contemporary themes with art deco elements, I dare say that practically every ensemble making its way down the catwalk this morning has best seller written all over it. The colors are soft, starting with pastel blues and then gradually moving into darker jewel tones throughout the collection. Silhouettes are predictably feminine but roomy. Separates dominate, giving women plenty of mix-and-match choices for their wardrobe.
Ms. Fulton shows some favoritism for large, loose, open coats. Someone remarked how an early piece reminded her of a lab coat, and I can’t say that wasn’t the aesthetic the designer wanted to portray. These are coats that can be tossed on and discarded quickly, a necessity for the busy woman who is Holly Fulton’s core customer. This is always a very work-friendly label and Ms. Fulton knows that working women often don’t bother with fasteners on jackets, so why encumber the look with something that goes unused?
Undisputed in their popularity, however, are those prints, of which there are several. Designs range from the simple cog wheel to appliqued hands and shoes. The graphic looks are lively and stand out but avoid being garish. I did see one perhaps ill-thought piece where a well-adorned arm and hand was set to give the appearance of coming over the right shoulder at a diagonal angle. The down side? The hand landed directly over the model’s left breast, as though going for a grope. Ms. Fulton and her audience are generally a bit too conservative for that sort of thing and I feel safe is saying it was likely not her intention. Still, the effect caused a few giggles among those in the audience.
The only negative in this morning’s presentation was that the shoes were apparently impossible to keep on the model’s feet. One poor girl had to stop multiple times on her walk to make an adjustment and several could be seen shuffling a bit to try and keep their feet from coming unshod. I’m going to chalk this up to poor sizing, though.
Before the show finished, there were the usual florals and a bit of gingham, neither of which are terribly unusual for a Holly Fulton collection. It is the graphics and the glasses that stand out and likely make this season’s offerings a hit. Very well done!