When House of Holland first debuted at London Fashion Week in 2008, people loved it--but not because it was so revolutionary. Rather, because it was fun. Really fun. And Henry Holland and his friends--Aggy Deyn, Peaches Geldoff, Alexa Chung--made it quite fun because it was their party. From fluorescent purple plaids to zebra print anything, it was to be taken as a fun romp, not a rack of clothing that people would actually buy.
But something changed with Holland's "Pantone" collection. Despite its innate unwearability, people loved it so much that they became obsessed with this particular idea of color-blocking and scooped up every pair of tights produced. Holland realized that tights were great place to make some real cash, and soon his fashion house because a real business.
This season, with the help of Swarovski--who is also sponsoring me on my trip to London, thank you very much--the House of Holland became a viable commercial player. But not to worry--there was still plenty of fun to be had.
The theme seemed to be '70s starlet on holiday, with plenty of fringe, palm tree prints, and sparkly dresses. There was a pleated chambray skirt, a chain mail dress, and a halter frock encrusted with stars of Swarovski crystals. The bet parst, though, might have been the pom pom earrings, which nearly every girl wore. I don't know how or where I'd wear them. But I need them. Now.
"Our girl's growing up, and I guess I'm growing up," Henry told me after the show. "There's a little more sensibility in how she dresses. It's also a more technically accomplished collection." That was obvious in the fit and finish of the pieces. Sure, there were still some frayed ends, like on deep pink dress, but it was contrasted with perfectly ironed accordion pleats.
As for the pom pom earrings, which are a handmade combination of Swarovski crystals, wire, and feather boa? "I watched Zanadu on a plane, and it came to me," laughed Henry. We laughed with him, because he's lovely. And so are his clothes.