The House of Holland show was a little bit of a visual shocker after seeing classic Brit heritage brand Jaeger London earlier on Saturday morning (review to come). A good chunk of the room was decked out in the bright orange and granny afghan print from Henry Holland's fall 2011 collection. When I noted that the collection was titled "Pastel Punks" and that very large leopard spots had been painted on the wall, I knew it wasn't going to be minimal (a word never, ever applicable to Henry Holland, admittedly.)
Holland's inspiration this season was "skins and punks", ska revival, and a Miami palette. Because of this, it was hands-down the best pre-show music I've heard this season--lots of Clash. The show started with some bleached-out denim pieces that looked exactly like a sky filled with cheery clouds (unlike the London weather outside, which was a complete downpour.) Floaty pastel blouses and dresses handpainted with a python print were just crazy enough to work. Holland's signature tartan was reworked into a mixture of fresh pastels.
I peeped what appeared to be rubber bras and knickers beneath open weave sweaters and under short skirts. OK. I can accept that. When the super-duper oversized, XXL leopard print--overlaid on ombré pastel chiffon--appeared, I held my breath for a second, then exhaled; it was absolutely gorgeous. It was especially effective on a ladylike short collared dress, and I am going to stalk the maxidress version. The print was so enlarged that it almost wasn't recognizable as an animal print--Henry Holland has made leopard new, a difficult feat.
I loved this kooky collection, because underlying the quirkiness was a true sophistication.