To many, the humble ice-cream van is symbolic of childhood summers, innocent pleasures and – in general – happy, untarnished memories. Sounding out twinkling melodies long before the van comes into view, the image of boys and girls crowded around these colourful vehicles, hands clutching 99s and wearing chocolate-covered grins, is a scene that resonates with most people who lived in coastal regions growing up.
When these boys and girls become adults, however, does their lost innocence equate to turning their back on all those summers gathered ’round the ice-cream van, taking pleasure in simplicity and whiling away time without a care in the world? It certainly doesn’t have to be the case, and if House Of Holland‘s colour-bursting Mr. Quiffy collection is anything to go by, that traditional ice-cream-van outlook is ready for a modern-day metamorphosis.
Since the start of August, the HoH crew (Henry Holland included) have been touring the UK in promotion of their newly-launched Mr.Quiffy collection, whose pieces do serious justice to House of Holland‘s colour & print-loving reputation. The label’s promotion methods are seriously innovative: the collection has been touring through HoH’s Mr. Quiffy van, a traditional ice-cream vehicle that’s been totally revamped in a mélange of eye-popping shades and patterns to make it impossible to miss, whether it’s cruising down the motorway or parked at London’s famous Spitalfields Market.
Regardless of location, the pop-up has attracted a multitude of eager fashion lovers, with 99s being replaced by polka-dot iPhone covers. With the collection’s pricing starting at just £15, the kaleidoscopic range is seriously accessible, and offers that coveted slice of House of Holland fashion to high-end and high-street purveyors alike.
All Mr. Quiffy pieces are available to buy on the HoH website, but I was intrigued to view the garments up-close – so a couple of weeks ago, I made my way to Carnaby Street one sunny London morning, to visit one of Mr. Quiffy’s only stationary pop-ups:
Admittedly, I had trouble finding the pop-up shop in the first place; while Carnaby Street was advertised as the venue location, I couldn’t locate any shops or signs that matched the description. Fortunately, I sauntered down one side-street by chance to see a lime-green facade illuminated by the late morning sun, windows covered in multi-coloured polka dots, and I knew I’d come to the right place. Lured by vibrant campaign posters fronting the window displays, I entered the conjured-up Mr. Quiffy world without a second thought:
Inside was an urban blank canvas, the painted brick walls and all-white interiors being the perfect backdrop for the collection’s rainbow of shades. Polka dots and stripes were the core focus on garment rails, with a combo of the two prints splashed across t-shirts, slinky jersey dresses and denim shorts. The Mr. Quiffy symbol – a whipped ice-cream cone sporting a pair of shades & an awesome bowtie, created by NYC-based graphic designers Craig & Karl - was printed on snow-white tees and cotton jersey unisex shorts, and incarnated through jewellery in the form of gorgeous gold earrings and necklaces that I seriously fell for. Prominent collection pieces also included the first headgear fruits of labour from House of Holland x New Era‘s ongoing design collaboration (with more styles to arrive in springtime), which upheld the spots-and-stripes banner in shades of green and purple. The “Lick Me” & “Easy Squeeze” polka tees displayed Henry Holland’s tongue-in-check references that first brought HoH to prominence, and a glass centrepiece showcased the brand’s On A Promise sunglasses in brand-new colour shades, arguably one of the collection’s most popular pieces since their inception in 2012 (the shades have a soft spot with fashion bloggers particularly, myself included). The collective scene in the pop-up was gorgeous to experience and walk through, with shop assistants decked in some of the vibrant pieces – and I knew I simply couldn’t leave empty-handed. While I was torn between considering the Mr. Quiffy earrings or the necklace, I ultimately purchased the collection’s iPhone cover for its sheer statement factor and vibrancy – it perfectly matched the House of Holland dress I wore on the day!
It was quite difficult to tear myself from the pop-up shop after making my purchase – being a colour-addict, it was heaven absorbing such a vivid display – but London’s outside world was calling me, so holding tightly on to my HoH-embossed bag, I left the pop-up in high spirits, retracing my steps to Carnaby Street.
Mr. Quiffy’s tour is still unfolding, and will climax at next week’s London Fashion Weekend, during which a great number of both emerging and well-established labels will be setting up shop over the weekend’s course of events – you can find full details on House of Holland‘s website “here” (and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for additional updates). If you’re enticed by the collection but not able to make it to a Quiffy date, fear not – the whole collection is available to shop “here”.
The words “The Sun Shines Here Every Day!” were framed over vibrant clothing rails at the pop-up, and I couldn’t have agreed more – regardless of weather, the clothes have that degree of sunshine to them, instantly uplifting your mood with their fun pattern mixes and happy-go-lucky shades. Henry is undoubtedly a magician of colour and leader of breaking those nonsensical, restrictive ‘fashion rules’, and with his S/S ’14 collection having hit the catwalk yesterday, I proudly joined the rest of the fashion ranks – a global following – that waited on tenterhooks to see just what magic he’d conjure up next. ❤