Holly Fulton’s Spring ’15 was, as the show notes explained, an ode to sun-worship, folk art, and free expression. This came through in places, like on a forest green T-shirt printed with a big orange sun, and in Fulton’s lovely, crafty skirts, which were handwoven with ribbon. Backstage, the designer said they were her most labor-intensive pieces to date. A tea-length button-down dress in a black and white floral print was a bit kooky and fun. Similarly, Fulton’s crop tops, paired with fluid pleated trousers or voluminous princess skirts, were sweet and fresh. Same goes for a pale yellow jacket, which was embellished with black chevrons and taxi checks.
Most of the collection, however, looked a bit like something your grandmother’s quilting group would wear to a rave. One has to appreciate the craftsmanship that Fulton puts into each of her garments. The floral and geometric embellishments that appeared on everything from jackets to fluffy picnic frocks to dresses in swinging ’60s silhouettes must have taken ages. But they seemed stodgy on Fulton’s otherwise pretty confections. A blue satin jacket, shown with a floral tube top and a PVC skirt, was too big—why have the model reveal her taught tummy if you’re just going to hide it underneath a boxy topper?
The off-the-shoulder style that Fulton experimented with throughout was stiff and unflattering—her dresses, most of which also boasted thick straps, would have been more successful without a cuff across their chests. “I love the naiïveté of it. It reminds me of my early collections, when you don’t think about commerciality and you just do what you like,” said Fulton of Spring’s folk-art theme. She should have considered commerciality a bit more, because with a few revisions, lots of girls would like to wear her handcrafted designs. Her finale dress, a V-neck number with floral appliqués blooming down the bodice, was going in the right direction—simple, feminine, and still special.