From catwalk to kitchen table: Henry Holland's new ceramic project
After 13 years in business, House of Holland by Henry Holland went into administration at the beginning of March 2020. The website is still currently trading until a buyer can be found, although Holland is no longer creative director. The label was famous for its 1980s-inspired slogan t-shirts and collaborations with a whole host of high-street stores and world-famous brands, from Cadburys to Speedo. It seems unthinkable to many of us that such a prominent label in the fashion world could have been struggling behind the scenes.
I always remember when Holland's Debenhams brand 'H! by Henry Holland' first arrived in our stores in 2009 - I bought a bold floral dress and a matching bright red cardigan from the range and it became my go-to outfit for all my university interviews! I liked to believe that the contrasting hues of blue and red in the outfit made me stand out, as I'm sure this was the intended impact with Holland's designs. Flashforward to 2021 and Debenhams is now currently closing down all of its stores with just weeks left of trading. Needless to say, it's been a sad time for many businesses.
Image: House of Holland, Resort 2018
It was always clear that Holland had a great eye for colour and pattern, often pairing clashing prints, graphics and textures. My favourite of his collections was his Resort 2018 line which adapted large-scale abstract and painterly artworks by Albert Irvin (see above image).
House of Holland had previously collaborated with Habitat on two collections which featured an array of vibrant, clashing colours, bringing his signature style to the home. It was clear he had a love for designing for many different purposes so it should have been no surprise really when I learnt of Holland's new creative venture with homeware. It was something I came across during lockdown earlier this year. During many endless scrolls through Instagram, I clicked on an account of beautiful ceramic pieces under the name 'Henry Holland Studio' and at first just simply thought to myself, 'oh, there's someone else called Henry Holland'. But then I soon realised: it was the same Henry Holland! He had chosen to take on an entirely new craft.
Image: Henry Holland Studio
Working in a style which seems so far from the vibrancy of all his previous work yet still presenting a love of pattern, Holland's hand-built creations are made up of warm shades of chocolate brown, olive green and blue with a definite nod to the 1970s. He had been attending pottery classes at his local pottery studio in Hackney before lockdown, which meant he could only work from his kitchen table from then onwards. Holland's marbled style is his own take on the Nerikomi process - creating patterns with coloured clays - which was established in Japan. Each piece is unique in pattern and shape as the results will always slightly differ from one another.
Image: Henry Holland Studio
I am excited to see this brand grow. There will soon be an exclusive line launched at Liberty which I'm predicting will be a sell-out, so be quick! Holland's statement about his new venture: 'It is a privilege to design beautiful things that people are willing to live with. To contribute to someone’s personal environment in this way, to be treasured, and to build treasured things, that’s the kind of connection we are all looking for.'
Visit the Henry Holland Studio main site and shop at: henryhollandstudio.com