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Welcome to rachelsays... The blog of Rachel Lewis, containing my thoughts and musings on illustration, design, fashion, music, cakey-bakey goodness, culture and things that I generally find cool. There's also a good chance my own illustration work will pop up on here.

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Coveting: H! by Henry Holland collection at Debenhams

I popped into Debenhams yesterday in a frenzied search for an interview outfit. I'm not going to say what or when the interview is as I have a strong superstition that any mention of such details will jinx precedings. It's the only superstition I have so forgive me. (Except for walking over 3 drains. I won't do that.) Shops were closing and I was all 'omgwhatamigoingtowearithastobeamazing' - I'd already gone into H&M and was sort of trying to build an immense outfit in my head of things I already have plus things I'd just bought out of desperation. So I was wondering round the womenswear floor of Debenhams in a slightly more relaxed panic as the opening hours are later there (thank you department stores, thank you) and I had about an hour. It was then that I stumbled across H! by Henry Holland and nearly yelled 'Oh Em Gee!' out loud. Which would have been silly. Because I hadn't even heard about this collection and it's uh-mazing. It's just me, entirely and thoroughly, every single piece in that collection is Rachel Lewis all over. Henry Holland is of course a brilliant designer, my favourite things he's done so far are his stripey block colour outfits for A/W 09:
So insane. You can get the tights fairly easily, he also did amazing alphabetty tights for the typophile in me:
Mmmm. Hosiery and lettering.

So the H! collection carries on in his normal crazy colours/patterns theme, in a very wearable and mix and match way. Seriously, I've never seen a collection where you can build so many different outfits - everything seems to match and wonderfully clash with each other, it's amazing. So my interview outfit quandry was solved - with a few pieces from the collection and other bits I've got, I've got about 3 different options now, of which I'll decide later.

I want nearly everything in the collection, which is bad as I have very little money; but it's all so affordable, it's hard to justify why not to have it all. It's never going to be one of those things where it's like, oh what do I wear this with. Here are a few of my favourites from the collection:
There are quite a few pieces with this crazy floral pattern in different colour ways. I just love the acid yellow of this one. Nothing says 'come on spring, damn you!!' quite like this dress. £30.
These shoes would go well with it too. Very 80's inspired, they also look quite comfy for a heel-connoisseur such as myself. Purple and yellow used to be my favourite colour combo when I was 7. Then I discovered the colour wheel. Clash-tastic :D £35.
There are a couple envelope style clutches, this one coming in bright pink too. I couldn't choose between them; I'd have to buy both. Perfect for zinging up a boring dress. £20.
I love this bag, mainly because it's called The Hobo Bag, and I love the word hobo. I want to be a dandy hobo. (I invented that term, if I ever become a fashion designer (lols) then my first collection is being called 'dandy hobo'. Ha.) £30.
This body is one of the things I bought; finding a body that fits you like a glove is actually quite hard. I don't have a weird torso or anything, but you want one that doesn't turn into a thong (ew) when you sit down but at the same time isn't baggy around the boobs. This one is perfect for me. And a size 10, I was quite excited that I could wear a size 10 body. I just love the colour more than anything, it's a gorgeous shade of purple and it's going to be the foundation of my immense interview outfit. I might do an outfit post later actually. £12. (bargainous, I thought)
Oh em gee! Cycling shorts! Told you they'd be back. They're not exactly lace cycling shorts like the ones I'm still unable to find but in this shade of pink, who cares. I nearly bought them but as they're not for interview purposes, I had to think of my bank account (which is on it's death bed and pay day is still a month away, slightly scared) so it's on the wish list. £8 though, sweet.

This blazer, is actual love for me. It was one of the first things I saw in the collection and I could not believe the perfection. It's just 'soooo cute', which is what I'd say if I was ditzy and american. But seriously, it's got that preppy/boarding school thing going on, made out of hoodie kind of material and purple check lining which, what's that? Matches the purple body exactly? Really? You don't say. I love blazers. I love school-themed fashion. It also reminded me of that outfit Anne Hathaway wears in Devil Wears Prada which is all preppy too. You know what I mean. Where she delivers the book. Yeah. So! This is the backbone which holds my outfit together. Its smart but not in a suit-way. Because I need to be way more creative than a suit dress, I feel. £35. Done. Hanging up right now. I feel smug.
The jewellry is great too. In a totally silly OTT way, I love it. Like this ring. Same purple. Didn't buy it though. But you see what I mean when I say everything can go with everything? £8. Comes in turquoise too.
Oh, this. This is beautiful. It doesn't look like much, but it's genius in disguise. It's called Holey Boyfriend Cardi and it's exactly what I need. Days are still cold and I love wrapping up in big cardi's but I hate all the thick knitted ones that are out with the belts (you know what I mean) and the oversize jumpers are cool but it's supposed to be spring soon and it's hard to rock a jumper when it's hot cold all the time. You need a cardi, layering style. I love slouchy clothes when I'm cold and one of the hottest trends this year is holey stuff. I know right, let's all rips holes in things, but it's going to be massive and this cardi is bucking the trend. It's the perfect spring piece - keeps you damn warm when it's chilly under a coat, but layer it over an interesting print dress/tshirt and you can see the pattern through the holes when it's a bit warmer. I tried it on and stared at myself for about 5 minutes (which is a long time in a changing room) trying to talk myself out of buying it. It's £40 so one of the more expensive items, and it's not interview material so I cannot justify it. Taking it off was painful. I need this cardi. But there's no way I can buy it until the end of the month. And if it's sold out by then, then I will cry. So please, appreciate it, but just don't buy it nation, ok? Nobody buy this. I want one. Just one, in a size 10, keep it safe for me and leave it on the hanger :) Fanks.

Anyway, after pulling myself together, this is the last item on my list. I usually hate parkas. I generally think that just because it's cold, doesn't mean your coat has to be shapeless and slightly farmer-ish. A good tailored coat will save this country from itself. However. I saw this and had a slight epiphany. It might just be because of the purple check and purple buttons (there's that purple again, good times...) or it might be because I saw a tres pretty girl wearing a parka with an amazing ensemble and forgave her instantly. Don't know. But it's cool. And I allow everyone to wear this. £45.

So that's my top pick of the lot. It's all great though, it really is. I was talking to the girl at the checkout and she was saying it's been slow to pick up but now it's gathering sales; I don't see why not, it's my favourite collection anywhere right now. Yes, anywhere. Debenhams seem to be on fire recently though, first the Ben De Lisi collection for Principles which is back (after folding) and also the size 16 mannequins, Debs is going to have a good year I think.

I'll sort out my interview outfit and probably do an outfit post actually; haven't done one in ages. It's not a regular thing I assure you.


The Style PA said...

About 10 years ago I was in love with my 'holey' cardigan, it's only a matter of time before I have to buy this one and relive my youth. Great post by the way.

Rachel said...

Do it! If anything can rival a past fave item, it's this.

Thanks for the comment! I'll check out your blogs :)