Friday, September 17, 2010


Posted by Fashion Editor at Large


Henry is a busy man. Fresh from a trip to New York last weekend where he hosted a Fashion's Night Out party with (for whom he designed a special maxi dress) and Teen Vogue, he bounded into his studio to meet with us having just been at the gym. "I saw Erdem and I often see Richard Nicoll, now all we need is Chris and Tammy Kane to make it a fashion happening," he quipped before skipping off to spruce his famous quiff back into place with some Elnett. 

He seems weirdly calm, I tell him, for a man with a catwalk show in four days. "I am weirdly calm. We're organised. There's ten people working here, at this stage we're taking delivery of something new every day from our various suppliers. It's like Christmas every day," he says and as if to prove his point his gorgeous production manager Anna signs for a large box and flourishes it in our direction. It turns out to be T-shirts in various cuts (cropped tops, Y back vests, trad T-shirts) featuring the banana print shown below in various colours. The cerulean blue is my favourite.

Then he tells me and the fashion junior about his latest two discount cards; we all love a discount card in the fashion biz. Henry Holland has a pick n mix card, (oh lawdy how I would love one of those) "the sweets come within three hours!!" he marvelled while chugging down a cola bottle. He is also the proud recipient of a Nandos card. Nandos feed him and five interns once a week or so. Here's a thing: Nandos is every fashionistas secret favourite fast food restaurant.
                                                 Banana leaf print Henry has developed for his SS11 HOH collection

"It started with the 70s, Studio 54, and the (1980) film Xanadu, and progressively got more and more Joan Collins and Joan Rivers. It's glitzy...but I hate the word glitzy...sophisticated is better The collection is bright, fun and young with it, but not as young as before. We're getting a bit more grown up; there's a bit of Jackie O in there. The main print is the banana leaf, which we have Swarovski'd. The banana leaf print is part inspired by the wallpaper of the restaurant Indochine in New York and part inspired by the episode of Friends when Monica is in the Bahamas and has to get her hair braided because of humidity."

He then shows me some great bustier dresses hung with fringing - take it from me, London designers are TOTALLY OBSESSED with fringing this season - and says "I'm getting my hairdresser to do some looks with the fringing." We approve.

The House of Holland studio on Charlotte Road

As you can see from the board below, Henry's shapes are cute and girlie and verging on terribly chic, but the fun in them makes them young and cool. There is copious use of gold chainmail - another Xanadu connection - and a lot of Swarovski encrusted stars, as well as darling dresses and jackets.  "I have definitely used up my Swarovski allowance this season," he says. 

The look-boards for the SS11 collection. Love how their "girl" is a mini Anna Wintour

"I'm working with BlackBerry again. Look," he says whipping out his new BlackBerry Torch, "I've got a BlackBerry Torch." Henry is such a show off.  While I seethe with jealousy (sort of) he reveals the fruits of his latest collaboration with them. "I've created a BlackBerry Torch cover that has an ear on the back of it, so when the phone is to your ear, you've got an ear on show!! We've made a hole in the ear for an earring, and we have made small versions of the House of Holland earrings for SS11 which are a Swarovski stud leading to a chain hung with a giant fluffy hoop. Next year we are hoping to create a rubber ear that is 3D." He has also collaborated for the first time with Charlotte Olympia, and the shoes look divine. To see his novelty ear thing for BlackBerry go to his sponsored blog, or rather look at this hilar photo of Sienna Miller from the blog....  

...and this one - with a better view of the ear/earring - modelled by accessories designer Katie Hillier

Now on with the show, which takes place tomorrow at 4.15pm.