Someone’s been watching a lot of This is England! House of Holland‘s Spring 2012 collection, which designer Henry Holland named “Pastel Punks,” was overrun with the defiantly hued spirit of ’70s and ’80s skins and punks.
Holland’s designs came stomping down the catwalk backed, fittingly, by a soundtrack that included iconic anthems by the Clash and Madness. The punk elements were there, but subverted: high-waisted denim, for example, had bleach stains, but they were in the shape of clouds. Instead of spikes, each look was adorned with surprisingly pretty pastel chiffon blouses, but butched up by python-print collars. Holland made good use of this fall’s snakeskin obsession; the print made its way onto suspenders, trousers, jackets, belts, bracelets, and covetable ankle boots, adding a bite of aggressive androgyny to sexy-feminine silhouettes and colours.
Staying true to his brand, the signature House of Holland tartan worked its way into three different colour palettes (peach, purple, and green), creating a layered suit of trousers, kilts, and flirty dresses. Metallic Lurex mesh knit sweaters peeked out from beneath the tartans, while soft cardigans were given S&M undertones when paired with rubber knickers.
Holland also experimented with a touch of elegance by adding leopard prints to mature degradé silk dresses, with cool purple-to-turquoise colors converging at soft pleats, almost like a traditional kilt. For eveningwear, Holland used laser-cut leather to create punky one-shouldered tube dresses that loosely flapped around the legs. The one-shouldered pieces and high-waisted skirts added even more playful rebellion to the show, reminding us that even the growliest of riot grrrls has a girlie side.