Fashion | 18th September 2011

London Fashion Week: Kim West at House of Holland

With London Fashion Week in full flow I had the chance to catch up with one of my favourite up-and-coming designers.  Kim West, or as I’m fondly nicknaming her ‘Latex Ladee’, has been working with Henry Holland over the past few months, on his Spring/Summer 12′ collection.  Henry Holland and in house stylist, Sam Ranger,  put together an exciting mash up of skin-head preppy punk.  It was a mix of styles and fabrics that on paper shouldn’t work but in reality they were inspired.  Pale blue denims with braces, napa leather string vests and bags reminiscent of the Brighton seaside.  Strutting down the runway, smokey eyed models donned Fred Perry style button up lurex tops and prim and proper dresses edged in snakeskin with snakeskin belts, Katie Hillier rose gold padlocks on heavy chains and of course Kim West latex bras and knickers in metallics and transparents with feminine rose gold fixings to complete this eclectic collection.  

Kim says: “There was a light touch of the use of latex; it looked fresh and pretty.  It was great to see latex used in such a contemporary way and I think Henry Holland was the designer to pull this off.  Also, his clothes appeal to a younger girl and I can see my latex bras being the perfect and non threatening introduction to latex which is, after all, just a fabric!”
Latex?!  This is the reason I have fallen in love with Kim West, and she’s right you know….it is just a fabric.  Why should we all be so scared?  Are we all thinking about the unavoidable ‘lap-dancer’ subtext?  I think it’s time to step into the 21st century and with fashion moving forward at the pace it is, perhaps latex is the way to go.  Kim West certainly thinks so:
“Now is the time to see latex back in the mainstream market.  Latex is coming out of the pervy closet again and about time too!  I believe it’s in it’s infancy and there is a long way to go with it.  One of it’s drawbacks is that it fades in sunlight so we have introduced a product, Fade Stop, that prevents it fading BUT we are also embracing the fading and there will be lots of faded and distressed latex in our S/S collection.  Now you can treat latex like your denim jacket; the rougher you handle it the better it will look and this breaks every rule of caring for latex EVER!”

Kim West (left) and her assistant before the House of Holland show
Follow Kim West on Twitter @kimwestfashion
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