Hank Holland is having a serious 70s flashback, complete with music. The set is stacked with old school Marshal and Randall speakers (one has to wonder how many cover bands he had to pay to find that much old gear). The back wall is done in yellow lights with incandescent bulbs. The music playing on the sound track is The Doors. The invitation went out on a seven-inch vinyl record. The theme for this collection? “The Groupie.”
In his designer’s notes, Holland defines his muse: “A young woman who seeks to achieve status by having sex with rock musicians, roadies, security, and other band-related guys. Nights spent stalking hotels in last night’s makeup and arranging outfits for the nightly pilgrimage to a dingy rest room or backstage bar.”
I read that description the looked over at Holland’s front row full of psuedo-celebrities and had to laugh. He knows his audience better than they likely know themselves.
So, what does Hank send down the runway? Flower power, baby. Knit flowers. Applique flowers. Plastic flowers. Spray paint flowers. Everywhere one looked, there was something floral and it was typically in the bright orange/red/yellow combination that was most popular in the early 70s. About the only thing missing was the fragrance of cheap incense attempting to cover the pungent aroma of marijuana smoke.
Holland even nailed the silhouettes of the era. Bell-bottomed pants, short dresses and skirts, cropped tops, and custom embellished jackets ran the lot of the collection. There even a couple of maxi dresses so well re-created that they looked as though they’d just been pulled from the bottom of an over sized purse.
What keeps this collection hip and modern are the fabrics. Vinyl, clear plastics, and pink metallic managed to keep things contemporary while simultaneously protecting the look of the theme. What was especially cool were how Holland takes some of the dress designs and turns them into incredibly cool jackets. There are also plenty of touches of leather, crushed velvet, and even some necessary fringe here and there.
The hands-down winner from the set, though were the shoes: pink metallic booties with fringed tassels on the front. Had he brought a thousand pairs for sale at the show, he would have easily sold them all. Pre-orders for that item alone are going to be huge.
This is the second time this season we’ve seen a significant designer take on a very specific portion of 60s-70s rock as their inspiration. See kids, your grandparents knew what was good. You, my little ones, are just now beginning to understand.
Photo credit: Gio Staiano