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Holly Fulton

The womenswear designer tells Graeme Moran why she’ll be recovering in bed following her London Fashion Week catwalk.

How do you prepare yourself for London Fashion Week?

I just focus on getting the collection done in time, keeping everyone’s spirits up and relish seeing it realised on the catwalk.

What are your emotions before the show?

Excitement – it’s the only time I get to see if what I planned has worked out and come together. It’s my favourite moment.

Are you nervous about the reaction to your shows?

I think if you are confident, you can take any knocks. Ultimately, the show is a vehicle for sales, so even if critics don’t like it, as long as stores and buyers do, your business will be OK. Obviously you want a positive response but you learn to develop a thick skin over time.

When do you decide to stop working on the collection?

The very last minute. It evolves as it goes along and you think of new and fresh things as pieces come back – I’m a nightmare for a last-minute addition.

Do you party afterwards or do you go home for an early night?

If I’ve been up for 72 hours (like I was for the autumn 11 collection), I fall asleep at the lunch table. If I’m coherent then I have dinner and cocktails with my team, family and friends. It’s lovely to see them all, have an intimate evening and say thanks for the support.

How do you recover from fashion week?

Bed. For as long as possible and then a weekend in the Cotswolds with my boyfriend.

You might be a bit biased, but which fashion week do you think is the best and why?

I think London is the most creative of the bunch but I love Milan as I love Prada – I seriously want to wear those clothes.

What were the inspirations behind your autumn 12 collection?

My lady is a little bit Lady Chatterley, she’s been misbehaving in the greenhouse before taking afternoon tea and it’s written all over her lightly perspiring, yet regal face.

Where does your inspiration come from?

Anywhere. From things I see or my personal collection of stuff, like books and nick-nacks.

I start by collating all my research imagery then sketching. Lots. I’ll draw hundreds [of sketches] before whittling them down.

Do you keep an archive of all your collections?

I keep the collections! And all the sketches – it’s nice to look back at the original drawings.

Your collections always have the Holly Fulton look but still move on. How do you balance your brand handwriting with keeping your collections fresh?

I think it would be there in anything I did as it’s just how I draw and do things.

New ideas and silhouettes come into the frame each season, but I would hope [my collections are] identifiable as mine to everyone. The biggest compliment is when people say they knew it was my work. 

  • Holly Fulton is a womenswear designer

Quickfire questions

Do you wear your own designs?

Yes.  It’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it.

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane

What other catwalks do you look forward to during the show season?

Christopher Kane, Prada and Miu Miu.

What is your career highlight?

Still being here six seasons on.

What are your survival tips for LFW?

Sancerre, Rescue Remedy and crisps.

Prada Spring 11

Prada Spring 11

If you could dress one person, alive or dead, in your designs who would it be?

Elizabeth I – she liked a fairly extravagant look by all accounts and I love ginger hair and pearls.

Which one catwalk show do you wish you’d witnessed?

An early Moschino show, Jean Paul Gaultier, or Prada’s bananas (spring 11).

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