Los Angeles-based designer Catherine Fulmer is a quintessential California cool girl. Designing pieces that effortlessly transport you from day to night, she understands the duality of fashion due to the duality of her life. Well versed in both LA and NYC, her designs translate the diversity of her lived experiences. From her iconic Bowie jackets, paying an essential homage to one of the greatest, to silk pink trousers that are sweeter than a summer peach, Fulmer creates a wardrobe for a life well-lived.
Designing out of her Silverlake studio, Fulmer’s self-titled line embodies the classic ease of an It Girl. Her latest collection for Fall/Winter 2017 feels like an arrival of self-awareness and elevation, like the wardrobe we lust to buy ourselves once we reach that higher ground – whatever that higher ground may be. We can’t help but be intrigued by the woman behind the clothes. Get to know Catherine Fulmer below!
LF: Hi Catherine! Tell us, why fashion design? Describe your journey into the world of fashion.
CF: I’ve loved women’s fashion since I was a little girl. I’d watch my Mom get dolled up and always partake in the fun with her. I’ve been obsessed with clothing since I can remember – both vintage and designer.
On the weekends, I’d go to the thrift stores in Palm Desert and put together looks for my friends and I. I moved one week after I graduated high school with my boyfriend at the time to Los Angeles. He was a skateboarder and I wanted to get out of Newport Beach as soon as possible, so I attended FIDM. Coming to LA was a natural move for both of us until I realized I needed to be in NYC – so I transferred schools and made the move across the country to attend FIT. I had a shoebox apartment and didn’t know anyone except Harold Hunter. I got my first internship at Visionaire and started sewing pieces on my own when I had time in between classes and work. One day, Pat Field stopped me at a restaurant and bought my top that I was wearing. It was my first big sale and a huge moment for me! I then put together a small collection with the encouragement of Matt Damhave and the rest is history.
LF: What is your creative ritual?
CF: I usually get inspired in the most random moments. Music is a huge part of it for me. For example, when I was going through my Joy Division mania, I did an “Anglophilia” collection which was pretty fun. I’d say vintage clothing and music are my top sources of inspiration.
LF: How do you know when you’ve conceptualized a design that works? How do you decide which designs make it into a collection?
CF: Again, I am inspired by vintage and can manipulate previous patterns I’ve worked with if I’m feeling that silhouette at the time. I’m pretty particular on fit and color depending on my mood or where I’m going with a collection. I either love it or hate it immediately. Nothing in the middle. Scorpio 🙂
LF: Do you believe that style is something that is inherently known or can style be taught?
CF: I think you either have it or you don’t and money doesn’t decide that. I’ve seen girls worth millions that can afford anything and yet still can’t put together a look that complements them and I’ve seen broke kids go to thrift stores and KILL it on a teeny budget. I prefer the thrift store kids.
LF: Who/what are your top 5 inspirations?
CF: My friends. Mom. McQueen. Kate Moss. 90’s Seattle.
LF: What is the main inspiration for your Fall/Winter 2017 collection?
CF: I think Los Angeles has really inspired me. I’ve slowed down since I left New York and I like it. I definitely dress more comfortable and even more feminine here. Staying chic and affordable at the same time has also become a priority. I want all girls to be able to wear my dresses, not just the 1%. That’s boring.
LF: As an artist, do you ever doubt yourself? If so, how do you overcome those moments?
CF: All the time. I just go for it. If people like it, cool. If not, fuck ’em. That has come with age.
LF: What was the last dream you had?
CF: Floret Flowers. I’m obsessed with that flower farm and I hope one day I can see it in real life.
LF: How fast do you live?
CF: This week I’ve been home and in bed every night by 10. The previous week I went out every other night, but I’m in my 30’s now so I can’t swing it anymore. I lived fast in New York, but living in Los Angeles, running a small business, and having a little boy has slowed me down and I like that.