NOW's Style Editor Alison Tay meets hot Brit designer Henry Holland
We get the fashion lowdown from Henry as he launches his brand-new range H! By Henry Holland for Debenhams…
Cool Brit chicks like Alexa Chung, Kelly Osbourne and Agyness Deyn love House of Holland. Which celebs do you think need the Henry Holland treatment?
Anyone who’s never worn Henry Holland needs the Henry Holland treatment!
Henry Holland to me means colour clashing, slogan Ts and cool Brit chicks. What does it mean to you?
Oh God! I don’t look in the mirror and say: ‘What do I mean to me?’ I call my catwalk brand House Of Holland, but my new collection for Debenhams is the first time my name’s actually on the label.
What can we expect from your H! by Henry Holland at Debenhams?
The look of the collection is very much based on London girls and their style and eclectic mixing of different elements like the rocky bits, the gothy bits, the harder edged leather and denim and the ditsy florals that are playful and retro.
There’s less anarchy than I expected…
Do you think? Although it’s about getting a much younger customer than they’ve aimed for previously because it’s for a much wider audience, there’s still that element of the Debenhams customer and what they would wear. A really cool girl would mix the playsuit with the bomber jacket and a less adventurous girl could pick a grey marl piece to update their wardrobe.
What’s the secret to getting eclectic chic right?
It’s all about the way it’s styled. The denim jacket and the denim bomber are pieces that will fit into your wardrobe whatever your style and you can mix and match them together. Eclectic chic is all about layering and putting stuff together yourself and this collection is about drawing all the elements of London street style together.
Do you get a kick out of seeing people in your designs?
House Of Holland tights are a more accessible price point, so I’ve seen a lot of people in them. They always come up to me when they’re wearing them and I’m like: ”I’ve seen them before, love – get out of my face!’ No, not really – you still get a buzz when you see people wearing your designs. But I saw more people in Paris wearing my tights at Paris Fashion Week than I do in London, which was really exciting because they’re like [lowers his voice to a whisper] proper fashion people.
You and Agyness Deyn have been dubbed Fashion’s Hot New Power Couple. What do you guys get up to behind closed doors?
We talk about work just as much as any other friends. It’s usually: ‘I’m doing this shoot – how exciting is that?’ It’s nice to have someone in the industry who understands. If I phone my parents or my sister and say: ‘One of my pieces has just been shot for V,’ they’re like: ‘Eh?’ It’s nice to have that point of reference where someone gets it but that neither of us is like: ‘OMG you’re amazing! You’re my hero!’
Is Agyness your muse?
Henry: She’s my best friend – it’s only the media who’ve turned her into my muse. We grew up together and liked dressing up together and going out together. She’s always told me what to wear and I’ve always told her what to wear, like: ‘Change! That doesn’t fit!’ Often when I make clothes, I think: ‘Agyness would look wicked in that, Pixie Geldof would look great in that, Alexa Chung will wear that…’ I think London girls have the best style in the world, definitely. Apart from maybe Tokyo.
What’s your new slogan T?
The band T-shirts like The Zips, The Polka Dots and The Petticoats are the new typographical element. I built my business from slogan T-shirts and that’s where I came from, but there’ll always be a typographical element to what we do. It’s one of our trademarks and it’s what sets us apart. That sense of humour runs throughout the collection and has evolved more into the pieces now.
What slogans didn’t made the final cut?
Ones that are far too rude to print! The slogans that made it, like ‘Come Again Christopher Kane’ and ‘Do Me Daily Christopher Bailey’ aren’t exactly suitable for your grandma, are they?
What’s in your wardrobe?
The only thing that’s organised in my life is my wardrobe. It’s not quite colour coded, but it goes from vests to sleeveless T-shirts to waistcoats and then I have overspill in piles. I own 55 pairs of jeans and I ever only wear two. My mum came over and said: ‘It’s like a denim shop in here!’
Shop online now for H! by Henry Holland for Designers at Debenhams…