For Spring/Summer 2014, House of Holland presents a story of contrasts where tough girls wear 1950s silhouettes and sweet ginghams come out swinging.
The show notes predicted the mood of the collection by announcing a “stench of tequila and petrol thick in the air” and the transformation of Henry Holland’s models into “a tough gang of homegirls”. It’s hard to see that on the opening look, a white shirtwaist dress printed with orange roses that looks positively Betty Draper. The first “tough girl” clue came on a twee candy striper uniform, which was given a Holland update in the form of navy-blue tattoo prints. The tattoo is a mainstay of this collection, popping up on second-skin tights and splattering the collection from nearly start to finish. These prints featured Catholic iconography and rose-topped hearts reminiscent of the Irish Claddagh – perfectly in step with what a Holland homegirl might have secretly stenciled on her wrist or thigh. The tattoo prints were embroidered on a body-conscious, leopard-printed leather dress with bustier cups, which was paired with a surprising blue gingham cardigan. They were also found on shirts emblazoned with Our Lady of Peace, and again shrunken down and printed on the closing silk dresses. In addition to the edgier signifiers came a surprising amount of gingham. There was a red top and teal full skirt in matching gingham checks, a lace-trimmed gingham slip dress, and even head-to-toe gingham looks. A gleaming bronze jacket in foiled leather paired with a crackle-print party frock embodied the salty/sweet vibe of the collection. House of Holland has a knack for treading a very fine line between high street and high fashion, and this collection gives the audience a thrilling look at what a clever combination of the two aesthetics can be when it’s at its best.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway