These days, people at the collections are anxiously asking each other, "What is the future of catwalk shows?"—but nobody seems to know the answer. House of Holland is one example, however, of what they shouldn't be anymore: a presentation with very little substance and plenty of ironically tacky clothes that are actually genuinely tacky, too (how else to describe tangerine lace?). Today's show was little more than a barely concealed excuse for a party and extravagant posing for magazines and bloggers in the front row.
To be fair to Henry Holland, as a former teen-girls'-magazine writer he's not a trained ready-to-wear designer who aspires to change the course of fashion. Instead, he's a one-man self-marketing wiz who instinctively knows how to brand himself (the quiff, the glasses, the Agy, the cheeky northern wit) and is now using his runway chiefly to display his collaborations with other companies. Thus far, he's racked up Pretty Polly, for whom he's doing lace tights—a total lace body stocking made an appearance—and Levi's, which explains the buckle-bristling denim. He's also just signed on with the Debenhams department-store chain to create a teenage shop within the shop. It's just that coming up with clothes that can be critiqued on a par with those by other fashion designers is something Holland can't do. Perhaps it would be cleverer to quit the runway altogether and throw parties instead. As long as the paparazzi like his friends and get plenty of photos of them,
everyone will be happy.