LONDON-If there was ever a reason to give up my beloved Blackberry and finally get an iPhone, the Henry Holland-designed iPhone cover-cum-show invitation would be the reason to do it. Featuring an oversized houndstooth print in pink, purple, red, and white, it was an intriguing hint of things to come.
But first to answer the big question on everyone's mind: Was Rihanna at the show? I was craning my neck at every pop of the flash bulb, but sadly RiRi didn't show. The front row was made up of a gaggle of Henry Holland friends and the usual London it-girls--Pixie Geldof, Poppy Delevigne, Leigh Lezark, and newly-anointed ambassador of British fashion, Alexa Chung (wearing paisley pants in a way that totally proves she deserves her ambassador title). And while Rihanna didn't show up, Azealia Banks did!
Well, OK, no she didn't. But when "212" played on the runway, the aforementioned front row started seat-dancing like maniacs. Which is what I wanted to do, too, but only because the clothes walking that catwalk made me so happy. Full disclosure: I love House of Holland in all its kitschy glory, and after today I loved it even more, because Henry's gone and gotten all sophisticated on us.
Yes, the bright colors were there--reds, blues, pinks, purples--as were the signature zany prints, but it all felt a bit more grown up and buttoned down. The tailoring and styling were sharper than in seasons past, which is why that crazy houndstooth print worked so well. Ditto on the multi-hued zigzag striped pieces. When such exuberance is shown on simple shapes, it really works.
But lest you think HoH is getting too serious, don't worry--the first few looks featured models wearing jaunty little leather bike hats printed with the command: "Ride it." (That was also the title of the show.) No one wearing the huge black and red zig zag fur coat is going to take themselves too seriously, either.
Too bad Rihanna decided to skip such a great show.