LFW AW10 Report: House of Holland

22 February 2010

Does anyone in fashion have more fun than Henry Holland?
 
His Autumn/Winter ’10, faithfully attended by his beautiful famous friends, Alexa Chung (double denim), Pixie Geldof (denim bra top and leggings) Agyness Deyn (Beatles mop and black jacket) and erm Lorraine Kelly (stripy jacket), showed once again what we already know: everyone loves Henry.
 
The invitation for his show was a doo-rag bandana (which, much to Holland’s disappointment, none of the fashion editors turned up wearing). Sure enough, the paisley pattern was maxed out and in-your-face on every garment from a navy all-in-one boiler suit to a stretchy bubblegum pink maxi dress and a tight turquoise micro-mini. Add side ponytails, scraped up on top of the head, and you’re basically in Salt n Pepa and TLC territory.
 
Colossal stripey heeled wedges by Charlotte Olympia, (a new take on her usual monochrome styles – reproduced in very-Henry shades of 80s pastels) proved less of a problem than the donut sized gold bling hoops, by accessory goddess Katie Hillier, which dropped all over the catwalk, with the kind of ‘plink’ that suggested  House of Holland is not branching out into fine jewellery just yet.
 
Tiggerishly bouncy backstage after the show, the designer effortlessly charmed a long queue of journalists, with his ready wit and mischievous antics.
 
It’s easy to dismiss Henry as little more than a T-shirt merchant, after the slogan tees that made his name, but this collection was proof that he is fast becoming London’s answer to Jeremy Scott – they are both known for seemingly disconnected collections, inspired by a whim; an ability to take one reference point and stretch it til you have to give in and love it, and witty takes on social commentary.
 
Yet for all Henry Holland’s cheeky banter, there’s no denying the designer has a razor sharp business brain. It is Holland who currently has a range a diffusion range at Debenhams, Holland whose collaboration with hosiery giant Pretty Polly has been a runaway success, and Holland whose collection this season is sponsored by Blackberry; you can download an app on their handsets that will let you buy his new range of T shirts, emblazoned with Twitter-style acronyms. As the designer says ‘our consumer is maybe a little bit younger than those of other catwalk brands and this is a great way to reach them.’
 
Someone also tweeted updates throughout the entire show live on the micro blogging site. It may well have been Henry…

- Angela Buttolph


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