Alongside fellow designer Christopher Raeburn, who has worked with The Woolmark Company, the global authority on Merino wool, for a third season, Holly Fulton follows in the footsteps of contemporaries Mark Fast, Richard Nicoll and Jonathan Saunders to explore the unique Cool Wool benefits of wool, introducing lightweight 100 per cent Merino wool garments for the first time in to her Spring/Summer collection.
Having worked with The Woolmark Company on sourcing and integrating Cool Wool into their diverse collections to promote wool as a year-round luxury fibre, both designers have used fine Australian Merino wool fibre transformed into lightweight fabrics and knitwear pieces through modern manufacturing, individual innovation and processing techniques.
Holly Fulton’s first foray into wool for SS saw her explore delicate laser cut, inspirational bonding and 3-dimensional techniques. Her signature style of ‘hand-made, attention to detail’ that is always referenced each season fits perfectly with Cool Wool’s natural performance properties, and this season she used different weights of Cool Wool fabric and knitwear, taking traditional British folk art and traditions as inspiration represented in a contemporary way. There was a feeling is of bold confidence, with elegant, modern lines and a colourful energy from her Cool Wool creations, capturing a perfect attribute for wool as it absorbs and holds bright and pastel colours in an exceptional way. The collection included a super lightweight Nikke chiffon Cool Wool fabric from Japan, offering a feminine softness, luxury and drape.
Holly Fulton commented “Cool Wool adds a very sophisticated touch to pieces that are quite easy, making it a rich collection in terms of surfaces and how the woman feels inside it. I have used different surfaces and coatings, and graphic 3-dimensional effects, created by bonding, folding and knocked-out shapes and hand-made sequins providing wool show through and pops of colour. The lightweight wool provides a sheer quality and luxurious touch, in long gowns and knitwear with sequin necklines. I am delighted to be working with Woolmark; it has been a real eye-opener to be able to access the wealth of the fibre and material, the quality and colours available. It has been an enlightening time for me as a designer.”
Christopher Raeburn paid attention to quality fabrication, finishes and fit with a collection that as a whole brought a contemporary elegance, seamlessly blending the conceptual remade pieces with the more easily worn outerwear, dresses and separates. Cool Wool featured in both casual sportswear inspired pieces and new styles with a more tailored look, showcasing the diversity of these unique Merino Cool Wool fabrics. The hybrid hoodie and the hybrid dress, which contrast Cool Wool with other key seasonal fabrics, marked the evolution of styles that are fast becoming Christopher Raeburn staples. Alongside these established styles, 100 per cent lightweight Cool Wool trousers and shorts offered a sharper more tailored take on the Christopher Raeburn aesthetic, whilst 100 per cent Cool Wool vests added wearable and luxurious basics to the collection offer.
Christopher Raeburn said “I have been working across wool for three seasons. I am really proud of how the partnership has grown and how much we have learnt as a business, it has been really exciting and valuable. It was a challenge initially to see how I could fit Cool Wool into my Spring/Summer14 range, but in fact the hybrid piece became one of my best sellers for the season. It has been extended from menswear to womenswear using the same techniques and developing it into a more feminine look, and again extending through the seasons to Spring/Summer15 taking the learnings and adapting the innovation to offer commercially wearable and affordable pieces. The textures and techniques are important to me as a designer and these align perfectly to Cool Wool and its versatile properties.”
"Partnering with talented designers like Holly and Christopher allows The Woolmark Company to continue its work exploring the endless possibilities available through Merino wool, and showcasing at London Fashion Week ultimately helps raise awareness of the benefits of Cool Wool for the spring/summer season,” says The Woolmark Company Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer Rob Langtry. “Education is a key component of our marketing strategy and we hope to speak to the entire manufacturing pipeline; from buyers to brands to retailers and media at London Fashion Week about the true virtues of this increasingly popular natural fibre, to ensure it has recognition across international platforms and a growth in its market share in the warmer seasons”.
To view images from Christopher Raeburn and Holly Fulton's London fashion Week SS15 shows, please visit www.merino.com/coolwool