How To Master The French Braid
On the day of the launch of his latest collaboration with Magnum ice cream (more on this later), Grazia Daily caught up with our favourite cheeky Brit designer Henry Holland to talk Kanye West (who sat FROW at the House of Holland show in 2009 - who knew they went so far back?!),why he hates maxi skirts and how, in a dream world, he'd have the Queen on his FROW. Just don't call him fun...
Grazia Daily: Last year you were all about Mr Quiffy with your collaboration with Mr Whippy ice cream, now Magnum's getting in on the picture. What is it about ice cream?
Henry Holland: I just love it! And any way to get free ice cream is cool with me! Nah, Magnum have done fashion stuff before, both with Karl Lagerfeld and Zac Posen, so when they approached me I thought that wasn't a bad alumni to join. I also LOVE almond Magnums, even though they've got slightly more difficult to eat since I got my braces put in about five weeks ago.
Grazia Daily: That sucks. Tell me about the dress you've made, I really like it. What makes the ultimate party dress?
HH: A dress that you feel a million dollars in and a dress you can dance in and move in. When you go to a party you wanna feel sh* t hot and you want everyone to look at you for the right reasons. And then sometimes you don't wanna go out, and just putting on the right outfit totally puts you in the right kind of mood. Hopefully this dress sort of does that. It was amazing to work with so much embellishment; there wasn't a price limit, we could just go and do as much as we wanted. I didn't want to do anything that's too removed from our signature aesthetic, so the pointed collar is something that appeared in our autumn/winter collection. It's also the first time I've ever made anything brown. That was my first question when they approached me to do the project: I was like 'does it have to be brown?' and they were like 'that's sort of an important part...'
Grazia Daily: Now you've obvs just said the dress has a nod to next season and we have to say we adored your show. Can you define the House of Holland mood next season in three words?
HH: Furry (but not real), bright and sequinned or disco. That's not quite three is it?
[House of Holland autumn/winter 2015]
Grazia Daily: Nice. And who wears your clothes really well?
HH: Anyone who pays for them! Ha, no I love seeing my friends wearing them. As some of them have become more well known and they've got more and more people throwing clothes at them, it's really nice when they choose your stuff.
Grazia Daily: Who would you love to see on your front row?
HH: The Queen. Can you imagine? Imagine the security checks before the show! 'One would like a run through'. Let's make that happen next season.
Grazia Daily: The last time Grazia Daily interviewed you, we all loved the slogan tee you came up with for Rita Ora, get off the floor-a. So, we were wondering if you had one for Kimye?
HH: Hey Hey Hey Kimye. Ha. You know what? I actually have a really good story about Kanye. I was in Tokyo and he came up to me and said 'hey man, you never did a T-shirt about me', and before I knew it I blurted out a slogan that was so foul and so rude and so sexually agressive. And it just came out, without so much as beat between: I think it shocked us both. I was like 'I'm really sorry, I'm gonna be at the bar,' and had to walk away. It was awful, so embarrassing.
[Friends wearing House of Holland]
Grazia Daily: That's brilliant. Who would you love to have coffee with?
HH: Miley Cyrus.
Grazia Daily: Trends for Room 101?
HH: Maxi skirts. They're like dog poo street cleaners. When people wear them and they're just so long it's gross. They have like four fag butts in the hem. Seriously, like, just get it hemmed. There's nothing wrong with a long silhouette, you get me? Hem it. If you're gonna wear it with a gladiator sandal and not a heel for the day, hem it.
Grazia Daily: Have you had any total fashion disasters?
HH: Hundreds! But that's the great thing about what I do. Every day you start off naked. Probably one of my worst was when I went through nu rave. Yes, my company was born off the back of it, but I had awful hair, flat hair, Alice Dellal hair. Hair that went to the side here and then underneath was blonde. I'd diverted from the quiff for a year during the nu rave era, and my hair was supposed to be white blonde underneath, but instead it was more like custard yellow and went down into a half mullet. It was horrific! Apparently I hadn't discovered toner.
Grazia Daily: Three words to describe London?
HH: Amazing, diverse, inspiring.
Grazia Daily: Who should we be following on Twitter and Instagram?
HH: You need to follow @grandmabetty33 on Instagram, have you seen her? It's this lad whose grandma is dying of terminal cancer and he's set her up an Instagram account to brighten her final days. She's got half a million followers, she's been on CNN and she's like a mega star. AND he puts videos up of her dancing to Pharrell - it's so lovely. As for Twitter, I vote @The_Dolphin_Pub: it's just the best thing. I don't know who does the Twitter account, but whoever does needs a column. My fave recently was this one:
It really brightens your day. Sometimes you miss it for a week or so, and then it pops up on your feed and you're like YES!
Grazia Daily: IPhone or Android?
Grazia Daily: Twitter or Instagram?
HH: Ooh, tricky. Instagram.
Grazia Daily: Vine or Snapchat?
HH: I have both, but don't really use either.
Grazia Daily: What phrase do you use too often?
HH: Amazing. And fun. I'm so bored of using the word fun. If one more journalist comes out with the headline 'House of Fun' - I dare you... It's my own fault. When I'm asked how best to describe House of Holland I just say 'it's really fun' and then I'm like ARGH!
Grazia Daily: What's the biggest misconception about you?
HH: That I have fun the whole time. That I only ever dress like Timmy Mallett; that's only on certain days. And that I go out all night and never do any work.
Grazia Daily: Festival season is coming - how should we dress?
HH: Not in maxi skirts! Or anything that's too festival-y. Dress in the way you'd normally dress, with wellies or flip flops. I think buying into that whole festival vibe makes you look like you're in festival fancy dress. OTT.
[Henry Holland and pals]
Grazia Daily: Is there somewhere we should go in London that we don't know about?
HH: Get on the number 12 bus and go to Peckham Library and back because it goes past every monument that you'd ever want to see.
Grazia Daily: Which country do you want to visit?
HH: Sweden. I've only ever been there for a weekend and even the tramps were hot.
Grazia Daily: Do you have a grand plan? Do you see yourself somewhere in five years?
HH: I do. I want to continue to grow my business, especially in America. I want to open our own stores and roll that out. And I want to be looking for someone with a big pot of money to help me retire!
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