A global phenomenon? An unmissable fashion event? An overexposed marketing action?
Whether you like it or not (and you are allowed to think either way), the latest H&M designer collection was a major fashion happening of the past week.
I got to experience it in a very special way and therefore feel very privileged.
Discover my side of the #HMBALMAINATION story, and most importantly, see how I styled one of the pieces I got.
JUST SOME THOUGHTS
Year after year, H&M surprises us with a new designer collaboration. And year after year, the same questions are raised. Is it really accessible? Is it downgrading for a luxury brand to do this? Is it worth it?
Yet the announcement of the year’s new collaboration is always a thrill that makes u desire the pieces before you’ve even seen the collection.
This year perhaps even more than ever.
Not only is Balmain one of the strongest iconic names in french couture, but its young designer Olivier Rousteing is very close to the digital world and to the current most popular top models. The latest Balmain S/S16 womenwear runway show was crowned the most instagrammed of the season.
This digital desirability and link to young “icons” was very present in the H&M collaboration campaign, a film featuring Kendall Jenner dancing to Walk for Me, a song crafted especially for the campaign with an addictive beat.
The campaign was litteraly everywhere which led to unprecedented excitement and anticipation of the collection.
And I would say: rigtfully so. Indeed, beyond the Jenner and campaign hype, the clothes did look really great, with a lot of pieces incarnating the true spirit and design codes of the House.
The declared intention of Olivier Rousteing to enlarge his #BalmainArmy and create the #HMBalmaination was an expression of the purpose of all H&M collaborations: offering a part of the dream (luxury) to the “masses”.
This is where a certain dichotomy takes place.
Indeed, scenes of chaos in stores around the world, (people sliding themselves underneath opening store grids) were a little uneasy to watch. The frustration of people waiting in line for hours and not getting any of the pieces they wanted is understandable.
What intented to be a collection for “everyone” became accessible to few. I of course realize that I was part of the privileged ones and for that I’m very thankful to the H&M Switzerland team (thank you so much!)
What caused such frenzy? Too much communication around the collection and not enough pieces in stores?
Ironically, it seems like H&M’s capsule collections with luxury designers can’t escape one fundamental dimension of Luxury: rarity.
I think we should accept the fact that, it comes with it. In the end, the time (and money)you are willing to invest without being sure that you will actually get your favorite coveted piece is part of the game.
What does bother me is however the speculation (people buying the clothes only to sell them for higher prices online). Seeing pieces from the collaboration sold online for higher prices than actual Balmain pieces is a nonsense! This, in my opinion is the biggest problem, however hard to control.
BACK TO THE CLOTHES
After this long introduction, let’s get back to the most important thing: the clothes.
As you know if you follow me on instagram or Snapchat: infashionity, I attended a pre-event in Zürich before the official launch of the collection and was able to grab a few pieces.
The first look I’m introducing is staged around a black wool military coat, very emblematic of the House’s aesthetic for men.
I paired it with black skinny jeans, rolled up to reveal my favorite Valentino black leather sneakers. The black hat adds a dramatic touch and a hint of romantic flair to the look, shot in Parisian-esque Streets.
Incredible light was the perfect occasion to catch some artistic shots:
Coat: H&M x Balmain
Jeans: Diesel Jogg Jeans
I hope you enjoyed this new post and look!