Luxury loungewear brand Holland Street is the print pioneer turning classic floral kaftans and kimonos into modern British-made masterpieces, featuring bold hand-drawn designs on 100 per cent crepe de Chine silk. Founder Lauren Barfoot, a Royal College of Art graduate who previously worked for Zandra Rhodes, is passionate about the design technique she champions, banishing repetitive block prints and instead “hand drawing and engineering motifs to flow around the body”, she says. “Robes and kimonos are the perfect large canvas.” And due to the sumptuous excess of fabric, each robe can take on many variations, depending on how it is folded and tied by the wearer.
Barfoot’s first collection, The Carmen Camellia, juxtaposes angular, geometric shapes with classic British floral motifs in eye-popping colour combinations of black, white, purple and pink. The knee-length Lace Gardenia kimono (£189, second picture) is a bestseller. However, it is the long and flowing magenta and black Pink Camellia kaftan (£255, first picture) that is Barfoot’s personal favourite. “This print was one of my first for Holland Street – and definitely one of the most fun and vibrant,” she says. “I can’t wait to wear it to my cousin’s wedding in Brazil.” More recently, Barfoot has been inspired by the modernist Japanese graphic designer Ikko Tanaka to create the Ikko collection, its crisp, linear cutouts of roses, geraniums and peonies shown most effectively on the Issey Azalea robe (£255, third picture).
But Barfoot doesn’t plan to limit her striking print designs to robes; this year Holland Street is expanding its beachwear range in response to high demand from Dubai and Australia, and even developing a Holland Street Home range of cushions and furnishing fabrics. Watch this online space.