Over the years, Henry Holland’s fashion collections have secured a reputation of being irreverent owing to their bright colours and whimsical designs anchored by a permanent tribute to youth culture. However, for his Autumn/Winter 2013 collection, Holland clearly decided to enjoy himself and invite the audience of his runway show (that took place on the top floor of a car park in London’s Soho) to share his appreciation for the UK rave subculture that embraced a second Summer of Love in 1989 and continued to dance to acid house tunes into the early 1990s.
Instead of feeling nostalgic for this carefree period, Holland celebrated its exuberance by featuring colourful psychedelic prints from the 1970s that the late 1980s reclaimed, jewel coloured palettes of tonal ruby, emerald and sapphire, dashes of neon in shearling trims and floor-length zips, Martini glass prints that hinted at the importance of retro designs in setting alternative sartorial codes, and crystal embellishments that came across as witty in their conscious naivety. Garments such as bomber jackets, 1970s trench coats, sweat shirts, denim jackets and hoodies came in textured fabrics such as silk fil coupé, printed and embellished wool crepes, printed stretch and patent leather, and grey marl embellished with Maribou designs contributed to this celebration of subcultures and their role in influencing style.
If one could argue that such a concept was not entirely original in the context of London’s vibrant fashion scene, Holland’s rigorously cut garments and confident combinations of playful materials and prints made this an outstanding collection that confirmed him as one of the most exciting designers currently working in the British capital.