Monday, 22 November 2010

I Want Flowers, not H&M!

When I was a kid, one of the most popular things about birthday parties (apart from making questionable cocktails with Coca-Cola, Fanta, bread crumbs and crisps) was breaking the piñata. There was a whole ritual around the piñata: we all had to stand patiently and excitedly behind the line while a kid hit it with a stick, and when all the sweets finally fell down to the ground there was a sort of avalanche of little monsters who would not hesitate to kick, walk over or bite other kids in order to get a couple of "Chupa-Chups". I was invariably one of the fallen soldiers in combat. I always got back home all scratched up, bruised and humiliated, my only trophy being one icky aniseed sweet that some other charitable kid would have given me as a consolation prize.
The thing is, I'm afraid that's pretty much what's going to happen when H&M's doors open tomorrow at 9:30. I can already picture it: hordes of hysterical females of every age and shape that would terrify Attila himself charging uncontrollably towards the collection designed by a man whose name didn't mean anything to them two months ago.

I can distinctly remember mentioning this designer-mass market collaboration to a group of girls last summer, and I can also remember the looks I got when I said the word "Lanvin": the exact same looks of uncomfortable tolerance and slight disgust I would have got if I was a sticky green creature from another galaxy. Well, those girls will be part of the convulsive crowd that will step over my head tomorrow morning in the quest for an asymmetrical dress. But that's if I decide to risk my life over Lanvin for H&M, which is, by no means, the same as plain Lanvin.

I am still most confused about this collection: when the idea was first unveiled, my immediate thoughts were:
1. Another stupid collection of apallingly made designer-lookalike clothes.
2. Wait a second, if Alber Elbaz is involved in this it surely cannot be as bad as all that; it must be different! (I've been Elbaz's fan ever since his YSL period).
When Lanvin's PRs sent me the images of the whole collection, I was rather impressed; the clothes look rather lovely, I would no doubt wear all of them! Très mignon! Then everyone started discussing the collection, and later the various ways in which they could efficiently eliminate their female rivals on the day the collection would come out. I think that's what made me lose interest...

... Until the day the film came out...

(I know you've all seen this film but it's actually rather cool. I only wonder whether the scenes with the girls wearing the same dresses are a cheeky prediction of what's actually going to happen in every single party during the next few months)

... And then the show: just when I had decided Lanvin for H&M was not worth it, I get all these images of the industry's top professionals ripping off each other's hair and ingloriously fighting over... H&M dresses. Then, suddenly, all of my ever-so-cool industry friends are desperately stating they simply can't live any longer without possessing several pieces of the collection. Before I know it I find myself seriously considering the possibility of actually queuing for three or four hours at dawn in the frozen streets of Paris in order to have the privilege of getting a wristband and enjoy 15 minutes (not one more) of "shopping" (aka berserk combat).
I spent the whole weekend weighing this possiblilty. Then some of the images of the first ever designer-H&M collaboration came to my head: the designer was Karl Lagerfeld, and among other devastating landscapes, I remembered seeing two horrid women up on a table literally wrestling over a chiffon dress until they tore it apart. Then it dawned on me: what's the point in a chic dress if the person inside it is the exact opposite of chic? Elegance is not about the clothes, it's about the person, and even the most stunning dress won't hide the fact that some people are slefish little beasts. Also, I can't forget the fact that, as cute as the collection might look, Lanvin for H&M is not Lanvin, it's just a collection of H&M-quality (sic) clothes that happen to have been created by an exceptional designer. As much as I might prefer Lanvin to flowers, I definitely prefer the simple, authentic, truly elegant pleasures to the built-up, pretentious imitation of chic. I want flowers, not H&M.


  1. Well said! I just can't be bothered with it all - even if the pieces did excite me (and they really don't), there's no way I'd be queueing up and scrapping with people to get my hands on them.

  2. I have to agree with every single word you said and with the previous comment. I think is not worth it. I'm not a fshion expert, but I've always liked some Lanvin creations (like the black coat that katherine heigl is wearing on a commercial..for example), but well, When I go to H&M it can be very frustratin sometimes. People who never heard of those designers are, as you said, fighting without a pinch of elegance, over a silk top. That's too much. I prefer wearing a plain white tee with jeans and be elegant, than going through all that for a piece designed by Lanvin, that can perfectly not fit me as I like. The collection can be awesome, but as the article your posted months ago about this issue, sometimes the massification of fashion does not results that well, even though the collections can be great*

  3. Awful old-fashioned Lanvin designs, probably awful materials, insane prices, and knowing you will see them all-over in awful clubs.
    Why, seriously, why?


Thanks for your lovely comments.