À la Montagne


À la Montagne

to the mountains

The snow is falling, the mountains are calling and I've returned to Alps - the place where the H. Holderness was conceived. The ethos? Embracing an active lifestyle in the mountains and converting skiers everywhere to don beautifully printed lycra under their salopettes instead of old-school woolen thermals - one pair of leggings at a time.

En route descending into snowy Geneva, I glimpse some pretty amazing scenery which reminded of the inspiration behind my first collection - aerial photography. My interest (and mild obsession) with the "view from above" came to light at Central Saint Martins, where the aerial perspective quickly became my sole perspective for my final project.

From the cabin window on a plane, we view the world around us in an acutely different light than when we move through it at ground level. The roads, trees, buildings and other general mundanity of a route passed every day becomes abstracted and dissected into colours and shapes and spaces. Frequently it becomes something unrecognisable altogether.

Circling above the frosty fields of Switzerland I was certainly closer to this elusive vantage point, yet still but the true "bird's eye view evaded me. Subsequently, although a little blurred, the roads remained roads, the fields remained fields, the houses remained houses.

Upgrade to a drone or better still, a helicopter and the abstraction truely crystalises. Aerial photographer, Gray Malin, has spent a lot of time hanging out of helicopters to capture this elusive view. I think the most appropriate photos of his as I start my second season in the mountains are from his "À la Montagne" collection (see photos below), where he photographers the Alps and the Rockies creating beautiful patterns and prints totally unique to 99.9% of the other photos taken of the mountains. 

My first range, "The New Zealand Collection" is founded on the same principles of abstraction using a different angle - albeit focusing on the Canterbury Plains of New Zealand rather than the mountains.

I think I sense a second collection.