House of Holland
June 05, 2014 London
Details were irreverent and true to form: a dipped curved hem in the brightest of silks, a miniskirt with a rah-rah ruffle that could be zipped right off "in case you didn't think the skirt was short enough," and a very cool iridescent fabric that was a like a mood ring—green in some lights, lavender in others. There was also a surf element, inspired not just by Beyoncé but a picture of Cindy Crawford kissing a surfboard in an eighties OP ad. An animal-print "rash vest" and a swimsuit were the result of a collaboration with Roxy Silver. Accessories, still relatively new at House of Holland, were amusing: Key chains appeared in the shapes of a lit joint, a shrimp, and a burger. There were also slogan clutches that read "Crap," "Trick," and "Treat," and a fuzzy camo-print acrylic purse that had a chubby to match.
All fun and frivolous? Of course—that's true of any House of Holland collection, but there was also some serious thought, material, and quality behind it all. A technical silk fabric was made in a Nottingham mill; Holland agonized over a chenille fabric, willing it to be just right for a particular sweater, and explained how difficult and exacting the process was to make it so. The trophy look of the collection, a sequined dress in an unrestrained zebra print, was painstakingly hand-beaded in India. There is no assembly line in Holland's world.
The designer is part of Lulu Kennedy's Fashion East success story, and whereas some have gone on to a more commercial approach, Holland has defiantly kept and nurtured his East London style (even as East London itself undergoes rapid gentrification). A sure-footed businessman, Holland knows that the "Shoreditch chic" look has huge international appeal—and he can certainly deliver it to a legion of fans who can't get enough of that aesthetic.