Me last year in Kuala Lumpur for the Anna Dello Russo collaboration with H&M
So earlier this month the much anticipated Isabel Marant pour H&M collection was released. A celebration of the designer’s personal favourite items over the years this will no doubt be a VERY popular collection. And along with much touted press, a bevy of fashion savvy celebrities such as Sienna Miller, bloggers and even royalty (Princess Victoria of Sweden) have all been seen wearing the collection before its official release.
The good news was that on the opening day, I would be close proximity to three (huge) H&M stores. The bad news was that I would be on a plane flying into London in the morning, thus missing out on the first few hours of the opening. And since I would be in a city with 8 million people in which most are clued up on fashion and shopping is a major hobby, this is VERY bad news.
So in short my chances of getting what I wanted would be slim (oh those sequin pants will live forever in my dreams) but I thought after checking into our hotel I would negate the need to freshen up (this was way more important after all) and proceed straight to Oxford Street in the rare miracle that one of the three H&M stores would have something I could savage and treasure.
So after a 20 minute walk, I stormed into the first H&M store with the Bugaboo, two kids in tow, sweat on my brow and DH waiting outside. I looked around frantically but couldn’t see anything that resembled the collection until I noticed one rack with one item left…size 14 white trousers.
Next store, I noticed a group of girls shaking their heads saying out loud that everything was sold out in an hour so I quickly turned direction to the last H&M store on the street. There was a sign saying that the collection was on the 4th floor so I decided to take the escalators while DH and my girls took the lift. A swarm of girls rushed past me so I got into my competitive mode and sprinted; probably breaking every Health and Safety rule (which is quite a feat considering ‘safety first’ has been ingrained into me from working so long in the resources industry) to get there first.
When I got to the floor I was disappointed to find about 50 or so girls going ape shit over two racks of clothing. It was crazy. And then I just morphed into the craziness. It was madness I tell you. As soon as you motion the item back to the rack, another girl would have already snapped it out of your hand. There were lines of girls not going to the change room but waiting for girls to come out and then proceeding to shout and scramble for items coming back.
Many had bags and bags of items already. One girl explained she was buying for her friends and relatives in the Middle East. Another was buying big to sell on eBay. Another confessed she is a big fan and already own lots of Isabel Marant but couldn’t resist getting more. And as the clock ticked, another fresh group of girls would enter into the mix.
So after all of that I did manage to get three items: a metallic singlet top, a silver textured skirt and some earrings (for LovethyMuse). After half an hour of waiting and being constantly knocked over by Birkins and Bayswaters I thought “Hell I’ve got two restless kids..and I’m in London…why am I still here??”
So did I think the collection lived up to it’s hype? I thought it stayed true to the boho chic aesthetic that Isabel Marant is famous for and it was great to see remakes of the old favourites. However it was still high-street in quality and only really a mirror image of the originals. The prices weren’t exactly cheap so it was all reflective in buying into the brand itself rather than a quality well made garment. But I guess I did miss out on seeing most of the items up close.
So even though this was not my first designer/high-street collaboration I attended ( I was in Kuala Lumpur for the Anna Dello Russo collection for H&M last year) and everything that day really just proved the evils of marketing and consumerism to be at work, I admit I’m still a sucker for these collaborations…in the hope I find something special for a bargain price.
Have you ever been part of a designer/high-street collaboration opening and what did you think of the experience?