Holly Fulton (pictured at left)
In just four seasons, Scottish designer Holly Fulton has been able to cultivate her consistent signature aesthetic founded on bold prints and geometric Art Deco-inspired patterns, while giving us something fresh and new with each collection—which is a major talent in and of itself. For Spring 2011, the recent recipient of ELLE's Next Young Designer Award offered up her latest series of handdrawn trompe-l'oeil desings—swirling lines, peacock-like patterns and even cartoon-esque clouds—on simple silhouettes like thigh-grazing shift dreses and skater skirts. Sweeping palazzo pants and long tank dresses took us on a cruise to the Cote d'Azur, while bikinis and maillots gave us something seriously jazzy to wear upon arrival. Dazzling accessories included necklaces and earrings that looked as though they were laser-cut from the same cloth as Fulton's garments, as well as matching-print clutches to round out the impressive and cohesive collection.
Like Fulton, Russian designer David Koma put forth a collection that played on bold, graphic geometries, but with entirely different results. The ballerina-inspired lineup was vastly varied, but not at all jarring as each look easily transitioned from one to the next, beginning with flared skirts and fitted sheer-paneled bodices in delicate shades of cream, peach, and pink, that eventually spun into vividly-contrasting black and white ensembles followed by lemon and gold leather-embossed dresses—a charge into 80's-glam territory. Returning to the delicate feminine silhouettes that opened his presentation, Koma ended with several all-black ensembles for modern-day swans.
When most people refer to architectural influences in fashion, it's typically seen in the tailoring or drapery. But in Mary Katrantzou's Spring 2011 collection, architecture literally sprang up—and sprawled across—her ensembles in the form of trompe l'oeil images borrowed from old issues of Architectural Digest and World of Interiors. Dining room scenes and poolside settings took on a dizzying 3D effect to comprise a collection that was entirely madcap and utterly visionary. Katrantzou's paneled and simply-shaped silhouettes lent themselves as fitting canvases to rooms of their own. Standouts included the full, almost umbrella-like skirts that might have looked like accidental lampshades had they not been so succesful in their literalness—a feat reminiscent of Alexander McQueen's early work.