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A day in the life of Henry Holland…

BY LIZZIE, WOMENSWEAR EDITOR ON 14 SEP 2012 08:44 WOMEN'S FASHIONCOMMENTS

House of Holland: Backstage - LFW Autumn/Winter 2012

With LFW kicking off today, and with his own SS13 collection set to show tomorrow, we tracked down Henry Holland for a quick chat about a typical pre-show day at London Fashion Week. The lack of sleep, 3am fittings, front row celebrities, a lack of models and the ever-present threat of mayhem…

• A typical show day for Henry may actually start the day before – if he hasn’t been to bed. “Often we are still doing fittings and casting models until 2am or 3am and, sometimes, we may not get any sleep at all.”

• If he has managed to make it to bed, after probably only a couple of hours sleep, Henry heads back to his office and oversees a few last-minute fittings and castings. With each fashion week following so closely on from the next (London follows New York, preceeding Milan then Paris), selecting the right models can be the last thing to fall into place. Designers have to wait for the girls to arrive in London from New York, with Henry telling us, “If I have ten out of fifteen models in place by the night before, I’m doing well.”

• With the models fitted and collection packed and ready to go, the House of Holland show is transported to the venue. Here hair and make-up begins, mood boards are checked against the styling and last minute tweaks are made as friends and family mill around and take a sneak peek.

• With about ten minutes to go, production give Henry the go-ahead that all is ready and the models are lined up. The lights are brightened, the music turns on and the show begins. “We start working on each show about six months in advance,” Henry explained. “Then eight minutes later it’s all over.”

• After the show it’s straight into press interviews, as friends and family come backstage once more. The collection is packed up, returned to the studio and then, says Henry, “We go to the pub.”

• Friends who accompany Henry to the pub will no doubt have been front row and centre for catwalk viewing, with celebrity sightings at a House of Holland show something of a regular occurrence – but any celebrities present are friends, not publicity. Henry explains,“For me, it’s all about the clothes.”

• So what will ensure Henry enjoys a few drinks? Following the show, Henry says he measure the event’s success based on how he feels about the collection. “I mainly judge a show based on how I feel. If I am happy and proud and everything looks the best it can look, then that’s what matters… but a nice review always helps.”

• Of course, it wouldn’t be Fashion Week without a fashionable party or two, with Henry’s next port of call the official House of Holland ‘do’. We asked Henry if he merely stops by to put in an appearance, or stays well into the night? “Oh I stay all night. No point throwing a party if you’re not going to enjoy it.” Quite.

House of Holland will show the SS13 collection at 2pm on Satwurday 15th September 2012.

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