Ben Sherman x Henry Holland does sharp-yet-street Northern Soul chic

Published Jan 9, 2018 by admin


Even before a model had hit the catwalk, London’s most read newspaper, The Evening Standard, had billed the Ben Sherman collaboration with Henry Holland as the show of the capital’s menswear season.

The first of two planned capsule collections, it was in part homage to the glories of Northern Soul, something rather close to this UK brand’s roots.

Presented in a 100-meter-long gallery under brick arches inside Somerset House along the Thames, the show had a fabulous soul soundtrack featuring tracks like “I Really Love You” by the delightfully obscure The Tomangoes. To this danced a dozen expert practitioners of Northern Soul – boogying, twisting and pirouetting with strict abandon before the actual models appeared. Both chorus and cast were handpicked by Holland and Ben Sherman’s creative director Mark Williams.

“Northern Soul is very close to the heart of Ben Sherman, though we did not want to just hark back to the past. We took a 70s kitsch twist with the prints and mixed in contemporary street attitudes,” explained Williams, who hails from the southern county of Kent.

The show featured 29 looks, ranging from short Harrington jackets – a favored style of Steve McQueen – to striped track pants, the famed fishtail parkas and some very natty Mod suits. Plus, the duo inject lots of Holland’s favored graphics: notably an I Night Owl Soul T-shirt where the owl was an embroidered bird, in reference to the all-night parties of this dance craze in famed haunts like the Twisted Wheel and the Wigan Casino.

The show came one month after Holland was nominated by the British Fashion Council for Best Emerging Menswear Designer. The brand’s tagline is Ben Sherman 1963 Heart of Soul. That references its earthy roots in the Northern Soul dance club movement where young English kids grooved to American soul classics.

“I love twisting iconic English brands. Which is what Ben Sherman will always be,” said Holland backstage.  North of England-born Holland, who is noted for his broad Northern accent, has long been a particularly popular figure on the London scene. Ever since he first grabbed attention over a decade ago with his message tops, notably “I’ll Tell You Who’s Boss, Kate Moss!”

The show is the latest example of the new, more coherent direction Ben Sherman had taken since its acquisition by American fashion investment vehicle Marquee, which has sensibly re-centered Ben Sherman on its UK DNA, embracing the past even as it reinvents it.

Guests were also treated to a black and white photo exhibition of great Northern Soul dance clubs and images of all-nighters in places like the phenomenally opulent Blackpool Tower Ballroom.

“I was born in Ramsbottom, near Manchester, though my old man worked in Wigan which is the beating heart of Northern Soul. He used to dance himself, though, seeing as he was a solicitor probably not all night on speed, like a lot of the fans!” cracked the ever-ebullient Holland.

H&M digs deeper into sustainability in new Conscious Exclusive collection

words: Tomo Kembery H&M is launching this spring a new Conscious Exclusive collection, featuring accessories made from discarded candlesticks and a white lace wedding dress crafted from regenerated fishnet fibre. The Swedish brand’s seventh Conscious Exclusive line will play homage to Swedish artists Karin and Carl Larsson, and their cottage Lilla Hyttnäs in Sundborn, which […]

Published Feb 15, 2018

Weekday and Champion team up for third collection by Tomo Kembery

words: Tom Kembery Weekday has unveiled its third collaboration with cult sportswear brand Champion, due to launch in stores and online on 25 January. Comprising 11 pieces, the collection reworks Champion’s signature jersey styles with femenine crops, bright cobalt blue and teal tones. A marked 90s aesthetic informs the pieces, with tracksuit bottoms sporting retro […]

Published Jan 29, 2018

Diesel does capsule collection with AC Milan by Tom Kembery

Words:Tom Kembery Named Diesel X AC Milan, it’s a special capsule collection, which hit Diesel stores worldwide this week. Inspired by the off-field uniforms of the Rossoneri (or Red Blacks, after the team colors), the collection features a distinctive fire red Campo-fire pattern. “The new Diesel X AC Milan special collection mixes street style with […]

Published Jan 29, 2018

Top 5 Brands to Lookout for in 2018

Words: Richard Meodow   A constantly changing part of life is fashion, currently, in menswear, there are a lot of different trends to follow. This article is about 5 different brands that all have their own alternative edge to current trends, ranging from streetwear to outdoor clothing brands here are the labels to spot in 2018. […]

Published Jan 22, 2018

Roberto Cavalli to unveil menswear collection with women’s at Milan show in February

Words: Tomo Kembery After his womenswear debut on the catwalks of Milan in September 2017, British designer Paul Surridge’s first menswear collection has been eagerly awaited. However, the critics will finally have to wait until February for his most recent work to be unveiled. For the latest take on the Cavalli man, the new creative […]

Published Jan 9, 2018

Join Our Mailing List

Get access to exclusive Studio Club content before anyone else, plus the latest news, wallpapers and more straight to your inbox.

Date of Birth