ALEXANDER WANG X H&M

With the burgeoning rise of buzzword ‘activewear’, (don’t believe me? Read this, this and this) I’m looking forward to seeing the Alexander Wang X H&M collaboration pieces up close, particularly the neoprene(?) criss cross dress and mesh shorts.

The collection drops at H&M’s ION Orchard and Orchard Building outlets on 6 November.

Ahead of that, here’s a first look at the campaign images shot by Mikael Jansson in London.

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6104_201_PRSportsmen Andy Carroll (English soccer player) and  kickboxer Rivaldino dos Santos (above) star in the campaign alongside supermodels: Joan Smalls, Raquel Zimmermann, Isabeli Fontana and Natasha Poly.

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Raquel Zimmerman is such a strong mover, as you can see here. And I kinda wished this campaign captured more movement other than the hair swish.

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The full campaign will launch on 30 October. Keep your eyes peeled, it’ll probably be EVERYWHERE. hehs.

And pencil in the date: Thursday, 6 November 2014 – Alexander Wang x H&M 

Holy Moly, They’re Keeping Busy

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H&M has been making headway in the past year and they show no signs of stopping. Following up from their ground-breaking fashion show at Paris Fashion Week, I mean who ever heard of fast fashion showcasing their collection on a runway (at PFW no less!), they’ll be returning to the Paris runways for their Autumn/Winter 2014 showcase this February.

8154_Long10_01Recycled polyesters and bamboos take a feminine yet sporty twist this season with H&M’s Conscious essentials. Available from mid-February onwards. This collection seems to borrow inspiration from ballet and contemporary dance, especially from their key pieces. Pastel pink isn’t a staple in my wardrobe, but I’m thinking I could make an exception for this.

David-Beckham-campaign-1David Beckham adds a notch to his H&M collaboration belt with a new bodywear line for boys. I’m hoping they have the two tone navy shirt (left) comes in adult sizes. I’m in need of long sleeve shirts for my weekend inline skating sessions to further prevent my arms and legs from becoming different colours. Some context, I skate with long pants, but short sleeved shirts. In any case, I thought this photo (and I guess, collection) was just too cute to miss up. Collection will be available in February.

Lastly, if you’ve penciled in Laneway Music Festival on 25 January 2014, keep your eyes peeled for the exclusive H&M pop-up onsite for all festivalgoers. Create your own tote bags, get an illustration of yourself by professionals and remember to document everything with the hashtag: #HMLovesLaneway.

Well, that’s all the H&M updates that I have. Happy shopping this February and enjoy Laneway!

 

Maison Martin Margiela with H&M

Maison Martin Margiela is shrouded in mystery. Everything from the invisible, picture-less founder, anonymous design team, to the pared-down, super discreet clothing badge against a mind-boggling archive of fashion deconstructed, when deconstruction was a new thing.

It seemed to me that one can only pine, after, not own a Margiela. I was super stoked to snag this pair of shoes at the Club21 sale a few years back, and after that it was just a distant, appreciative affair. Now I’m super stoked, and I am sure that is also the case with everyone else, that the Maison extends its collaborative vein outside of its cloistered team to H&M, to produce a “democratic” collection, in line with the Swedish giant’s ideal of “fashion for all”.

All the pieces in this collection are re-editions – not an exact copy, but a fresh interpretation of a what previously went down their runway shows. Even the idea of re-editions is not new, in fact the house has been prone to doing this, even showing an entire collection of reproduced classics in the early nineties. The fanatical, brand-naming, season-dropping persons, will be glad to know that they’ve labelled each item with their debut season.

The collection is reasonably, thought I can’t say affordably priced and that’s why I’m having so much trouble deciding what I need. Accessories from S$16.90, tops from $79.90, dresses, bottoms, outerwear from $159, leather jackets from $449, (very covetable) shoes from $199. Here’s a price list in S$ for you to download and peruse.

If you’re not going to join the queue on 15 November (which I’m sure the boys from Onesixtynotepad will own!), try your luck online, now on eBay (!!!) or on the day itself at H&M’s website.

Golden, Gilted, Glittered.

In between the Marni collaboration released earlier in March, which saw the boys of Onesixtynotepad first in line and the much anticipated Maison Martin Margiela collaboration (scheduled launch on November 15, 2012), Swedish fast fashion giant, H&M is squeezing in an accessories collaboration with Anna Dello Russo.

Unabashedly flamboyant, over-the-top and a walking embodiment of ‘More is More’, Anna Dello Russo (ADR) is the editor-at-large of Vogue Japan. She’s also no stranger to street style photographers and adds a notch, ‘Designer’ to her diamonté encrusted gold chain belt (which is available in this H&M collaboration by the way!)

Displayed altogether in the H&M Showroom during the press presentation, ADR at H&M as the collection is referred to, is a lot of turquoise and gold to take in all at once. However, when you filter it down to individual pieces, each does have its merits and interesting details that continue to surprise as you give them a careful look!

While Onesixtynotepad, Like I Give A Frock, Do/DIY, Qin at the Disco and Rock The Trend were having fun at the showroom, I squeezed into this pair of thigh-high boots you see Anna wearing in this video. Didn’t snap any pictures of them though. Sorry!

Anyway,

I immediately gravitated to the sunglasses from this series. Perhaps its my affinity for reptiles, then again, maybe not. The ornate baroque-deco snake and crocodile glasses are outrageously fun and will retail for $79.90.

Anna Dello Russo at H&M will launch on October 4, 2012. Are you gonna queue?

 

Singaponding

There are many moments when I can honestly feel proud to be Singaporean. When the likes of Mae Pang make it onto Style Bubble, and Ling Wu gets a feature blog post on Vogue.It. I suppose what I’m getting at is the pride derived from locally-based talents gaining recognition for their unique perspective, their individual take of the world, transforming their inspiration into the tangible and creating something distinctly different from anything else.

And yet, there are “ponding” moments that draw out only dismay.

So how does this all relate back to fashion?

Well, couple of weeks back, I read an article (which I have since lost) about how ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson‘, the 2011 Hollywood movie adaptation and the resulting H&M collaboration were much more about Swedish pride than celebrating the anti-hero, Lisbeth Salander. Of course, the said collaboration has received much hype and heat. Internet-users the world over in an uproar about “glamourizing sexual abuse“. The most referenced online post is ‘An open letter to H&M from a rape survivor‘ by Natalie Karneef.

Having read the book and caught the movie, I’d says the 2011 Hollywood adaptation is a fair reflection of the book, leaving out 2 characters and (what I thought was) an intense scene at the family crypt but dedicating more time to the main characters and threshing out the very complex storyline (were you lost for the first 45 minutes? especially if you haven’t read the book) But referring back to the article which I can’t credit (because I’ve lost it. Sorry!) I do get the sensing that the resulting collaboration truly does celebrate successful Swedish exports. It helps that this particular collaboration doesn’t have as much hype and fanfare  as the Versace one.

Thank you H&M for not being so annoying all the time with the hype marketing.

But back to my point…

Local love. Home-grown pride. When things are unique and bring to the table something different from everything else, I think that’s when we can, and should, band together and beam with pride. And I look forward to another Singaporean designer (and preferably Singapore-based too) showing in Paris Fashion Week. As well as more well-dressed Singaporeans getting shot by The Satorialist and Tommy Ton for Style.com (on the same day no less!)

Those are moments I look forward to and can bask in the pride and silent knowing that I’m kinda, sorta like them too because “we from the same hoood, yo!” 😀

And yet.

Yet, there are also those disappointing moments of Singaponding… when I want to drown myself in a pond, almost.

When I don’t know where to put my face and scream ‘HAVE WE NO DIGNITY?!!!?!’,

When major local retailers borrow” inspiration from luxury brands and sell knockoffs of such likeness that its a bit hard to deny.

 At some point, I truly believe that we, the consumers, need to draw the line. Especially if these profit-seeking monsters ignore the ethical boundaries of design, production and profiteering. Because, we have the power. We vote with our purchase and ought to vote against such blatant “borrowed inspiration”.

Personally, I have stopped patronizing this retailer. Not only because of this particular design, but also I find their range of shoes to be exceptionally stiff and biting. (Do you get that too?) I am sick of seeing such knockoffs, especially from a well-respected local brand. I am honestly very disappointed. Shame on you!

Please, let’s not be a Singapond. Let’s not drown in the borrowed inspiration of someone else, but bask in our own identity.

Lanvin for H&M needing more love in Japan

The fashion community waited with baited breathe when news first broke about the H&M and Lanvin collaboration. And there was near pandemonium when the collection was first available for purchase online, overloading the server bandwidth and all the technical schzam that I shan’t frazzle my fringe in.

On my recent trip to Tokyo, I was shocked but sadistically overjoyed to see a contented shopper leaving the Ginza district outlet with her very own ‘H&M <3 Lanvin’ bag tucked under her slender arm. Closer investigations into the store confirmed my hunch as I found signature pieces lined obediently in rows, awaiting my thorough inspection.

Usual suspects were present – overpriced accessories and shoes that would eat your heart for dessert. But, rather unexpectedly, high rollers such as the signature red tulle tutu dress and yellow ruffle toga dress were also rounded up in this raid.

Conversations in the interrogation room did not reveal much and without a confession, I found it hard to post bail for this baby. But if you are convinced of her innocence, by all means, Japan still has sizes!