Psychedelia raged on at House of Holland Saturday evening. But Henry Holland’s collection was not a raver’s paradise; rather, it harkened back to the 1970s, the days of free love and uninhibited rock legends. Specifically, it was inspired by groupies—you know, the kind of groupies that always get in.
From Jimi Hendrix booming over the speakers, to the backlit rock-star-stage runway, to the retro florals and fringe that covered Holland’s looks, there was no mistaking his theme. Holland’s multiple interpretations of flower power worked best when they were all mashed together. For instance, a tropical green and pink petal-printed suit with a clashing print blouse was a good bit of fun. Same goes for a blue kimono trench worn over a contrasting floral slipdress. Less successful was the suede opening frock, which, in burgundy and navy, was too literal and lacked the carefree vibe projected by so many of his other ensembles.
Holland’s Spring girl was scrappy but savvy—she stole her grandmother’s engagement rings, as Holland explained backstage, and stacked them on her fingers. She wore cuffs with giant (faux) diamonds, and carried iridescent handbags (a relatively new category for Holland) adorned with crystal key chains shaped like cigarettes, cocktails, cheeseburgers, and lobsters. Or, as the designer told it, “everything a groupie girl could need.”
Iridescent leather miniskirts had a glam gogo feel, and a sparkly blue rain jacket splashed with polka dots was totally adorable. Also in the mix were ombré flocked organza skirts, tops, and minidresses that, along with a handful of neon lace looks, accounted for some of the collection’s high points. The crowd chuckled when a suede fringed jacket with the phrase “Chief Fluffer” cruised down the catwalk. (Some backstory here: The collection was dubbed Plaster Caster, after groupie-cum-artist Cynthia Plaster Caster, who would lure rockers like Jimi Hendrix into a bathroom pre-performance, seduce them, and then take plaster casts of their you-know-whats.)
If all of this sounds like a lot, that’s because it was. Holland’s kooky, often cheeky wares aren’t for everyone. That being said, the designer’s devoted fans are going to eat it up. (We can see Alexa Chung or Pixie Geldof, who sat front-row, lusting over more than a few pieces.) Some floral appliqué jeans were particularly playful—get ready to see those on the street-style scene come February. Furthermore, this outing is going to be a hit in Tokyo, where Holland will be showing his collection in October.