About Time You Met: Henry HollandBy Alicia Grimshaw
Known for his fearless, bold prints and playful designs – fashion designer Henry Holland has created clothes for both the high street and the catwalk. Since founding House of Holland in 2008, Henry has collaborated with a variety of well known fashion labels including Levi Strauss & Co, Pretty Polly and Roxy. Most recently, Henry has partnered with the world’s first elderflower liqueur, St-Germain, to launch a two-day Maison St–Germain x House of Holland pop-up in Central London. We chatted with Henry about the collaboration, floral prints and the inspiration behind his new collection:
You’ve partnered up with St-Germain to create a new floral installation – what can people expect from Maison St-Germain?
Well, hopefully, they can expect something quite surprising and exciting. We’ve worked really hard in creating an experience that isn’t just coming to a cocktails and canapé event – there’s so many more layers to it. We want people to come in and enjoy the space, and really understand the story behind the brand without it behind like ‘here’s the story behind the brand’. It’s much more about an immersive experience which communicates the messaging without it being too explicit.
What was the inspiration behind the Free Lane Cocktail that Camille Ralph-Vidal (Global Brand Ambassador of St-Germain) made for you?
Camille wanted to create a cocktail for me, and asked what my favourite flavours were. Rhubarb is one of my favourite flavours in a cocktail, and in life itself – so she created a cocktail that incorporated St-Germain and rhubarb notes in there. And it features pink grapefruit, and it’s really fresh and delicious.
The reason why I called it Free Lane was when I was a kid my mum had an allotment near her house at the bottom of her garden – she used to run the allotment society – and that house was called Free Lane. I used to pick the rhubarb and sell it on a trestle table at the front of the house like the kid in the HSBC advert selling lemonade, and because of the rhubarb connection, and it being my strongest rhubarb memory – we called it Free Lane.
What do you most love about floral prints?
I think floral prints are so timeless and iconic. They’re so feminine in a really lovely way. In a lot of my work, I focus on colour and a lot of print – and there’s so much colour and combination references in florals. The florals that will be featured as part of the limited edition product we will have on sale, and on the uniforms the staff will be wearing at the event was taken from a floral from my Autumn/Winter collection. It’s really an authentic connection between myself and St-Germain.
Talk to us a little bit about fashion – what trends are you currently loving?
I don’t think sportswear or athlesiure is going anywhere soon. I think anyone in fashion is still astounded by the fact that all we can sell is hoodies. I think part of the reason is that people want to feel comfortable. People are buying fashion for how they want to feel and what they want to wear for comfort.
Photo Credit: House of Holland
What three statement pieces should every woman have in her wardrobe?
A great suit. Tailoring is huge at the moment. A smart blazer and trousers that can be worn separately or together. A very elevated fashion hoody or sweatshirt, and the perfect pair of trainers.
What’s your favourite way to wear floral prints?
I wear a lot of florals for a man; I wear shirts and I have a couple of floral suits. Another nice way of wearing florals is in loungewear.
Pub or cocktail bar?
Cocktail bar. I hate it when they play football in pubs – I feel like it just ruins the experience. For that reason I’m always much more of a cocktail person. I like the Experimental Cocktail Club in China Town, the new Kettner’s Townhouse (the bar in there), and the bar at The Chiltern Firehouse is pretty unbeatable.
Tell us your perfect day in London:
It would start off with a dog walk in Victoria Park, and then I’d head down to some galleries on the South Bank. I always feels very London when I’m near the river and you can see the iconic skyline. And then a nice cocktail at somewhere really old school like The Savoy – I really like The Atlantic Bar there. Then dinner at Neptune on Bloomsbury Square.
What restaurant in London are you currently loving right now:
Other than Neptune – which is the new one in The Principal Hotel – I’m also loving Western Laundry.
What was the inspiration behind your latest collection?
The latest collection which is the A/W collection incorporates the prints for the event; it was really inspired by the House of Holland customer and who she is and what she’s about. It was about creating a staple wardrobe of all the key items that she needs in her life. It was just about this cool, English city dweller and this idea that our customer has grown up, and we saw it as a coming-of-age collection.
Photo Credit: House of Holland
What’s next in the pipeline?
We’ve got the St-Germain coming up, and I’m working on my resort collection which is coming out over the next few days, and then I’m off to Paris. Then it’s Fashion Week in September so I’m working on a lot of projects for that. It’s a very busy time!
Maison St-Germain returns to London for its second year with an immersive installation by Henry Holland plus two cocktail bars. Taking place from 15th – 16th June at 38 Grosvenor Square, W1. Maison St-Germain will host a curated sensory experience by Henry Holland to celebrate the ephemeral elderflower harvest. Event is free – secure your ticket online here