The fashion world is aflutter—Alber Elbaz of the House of Lanvin has introduced his exclusive collection for the House of H&M.
CHEAP + CHIC | The most frequent criticism you hear about low-end couture, my term for the guest collaborations between haute couturiers and budget emporiums such as Target and H&M—is that it is never as creative as the designers’ “real” collections. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would expect it to be. At the very least these retail lines—Alexander McQueen for Target, Sonia Rykiel for H&M, Jil Sander for Uniqlo—are more interesting and imaginative than a lot of ready to wear and almost always decently made. After that, any extra bit of originality is a bonus.
But it’s just this kind of bonus the fashion world is anticipating tomorrow when Alber Elbaz and H&M will debut Lanvin’s exclusive collection for the Swedish retail giant in a special film that can be viewed at www.hm.com. The collection, which includes both menswear and womenswear, will be available for purchase in H&M stores three weeks later on November 23, and by then the anticipation should be reaching a fever pitch, with shoppers camping out in malls a day in advance (as they did when Jimmy Choo hit H&M) to have first crack at product that will most certainly sell out.
The buildup to tomorrow’s film has been long and calculated with little leaks on the Internet here and there, including two images featuring some of the dresses, one of which is shown here. Modern and playful is how H&M describes the line, with polished and particularly feminine elements that are part of the Lanvin signature look: puff-sleeved and tier dresses; one-shoulder numbers; a stylish black, textured trench that looks like it could be worn as a dress; a sexy tuxedo jacket that feels straight off the fall 2010 catwalk. The line will also include jewellery (Elbaz’s signature pearls can be seen in the photo), handbags and shoes. One thing I like about what I’ve seen is that the collection looks sophisticated and appealing to women of all ages, not just H&M’s typical teen-and-20s crowd. —Annabel Lee
Photo: Courtesy H&M