You know what gets me about men’s fashion? It’s too serious. Ladies and children get to have so much fun with what they wear—but men? Nope, it’s all navy blues and dark blacks that erase the body’s form. It’s just not enjoyable. This is changing slowly—but it’s changing. House Of Holland‘s first men’s outing is strong proof of this.
The debut collection is a colorful representation of fashion’s male identity crisis. There are only fifteen looks that sweep from zany Canadian tuxedos to off-duty soccer suiting to schoolboys on acid. You have a bit of the athletic, a bit of the formal, a bit of the boyish, and a bit of the English dandy: Henry Holland blended every pertinent menswear trope into a captivating combination of wearable oddity. The form of the clothing is so key here, since they are all so familiar. Had he gone to the extremes of playing with what literal shape menswear is, the collection may not have been as successful. Opting for big patterns and colors in addition to comfortable yet contrasting textures also helps, too.
It’s also so fun. There are shirts that say “LADS” on them and sweats dedicated to butter. There is covert disco wear and dizzying conflicts of striping. The strongest pieces—likely because they remind me of the latest Moschino—are wordy pattern plays celebrating man. The execution isn’t in an anti-woman but instead makes men softer and dainty. They aren’t manly clothes—but they are. They literally say so.
It’s easy for me to obsess over this collection as, somehow, I still find it extremely difficult to find clothing that really speaks to me, a colorful, boyish fag who doesn’t really ever want to look like he should be taken seriously. House Of Holland does just that with this menswear debut. I’m very much looking forward to more collections like this from them.