The looks in the Fall Winter 2012 House of Holland show were characteristic of the label, whose clothing is rivaled only by the words it uses. Take the first collection, in Fall 2007, entitled One Trick Pony, in which Tshirts were emblazoned with slogans I’ve Got More Than A Handful for Naomi Campbell and Flick Yer Bean for Agyness Deyn. Or the 2009 collection entitled Colour Me Happy, where Agyness Deyn was in head to toe pantone greens, and model after model came out in a colour and its shades: it literally looked like a Pantone Colour Book on cloth.
This season, Henry Holland’s colours are louder and brighter than ever- unapologetically, as in seasons past. Yet dresses looked more ‘‘prim’’: some had pleats at the hem or pretty ruffles at the neckline- as pretty as can be in bright red with a houndstooth print covering the whole dress. The print was fitting on pants ensembles; a bright blue pair of pants with a long and slightly flared-bottom silhouette was flattering, slimming and lengthening the leg. A red, white and purple printed sweater that fell below the hips in a comfortable manner could be called ‘‘wearable’’- if eye-popping colour is your thing. (A pair of jeans would mellow it down).
But the main idea here is fun. A striped purple longsleeved jumpsuit with pink sleeves was all romp, as was a blue striped dress with a red striped hem. For the less daring consumer- less daring must be read relatively here- there was a zigzag-patterned cardigan and the long dress at the show’s finale with a houndstooth print that breaks at the waist.
Shapes in the collection were easy and breezy, but that’s missing the point. The kind of audience the brand means to attract, obviously, is one who sees fashion the way the brand does: audacity is cool, fashion is fun, bollocks to what you say. The collection says this so loud you have to step back a little lest you go deaf. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing- it makes you pause and reflect. And of course, it catches your attention.
-Ria de Borja