By Milla Freeman
Title Image via Twitter
Balmain, Isabel Marant, Karl Lagerfeld, Alexander Wang, Versace, Lanvin, Comme des Garçons, Kenzo: some of H&M’s most noted designer collaborations since 2004. These partnerships have allowed high fashion to be brought to the masses in a vastly more affordable manner with a nearly imperceptible loss of quality. The outcome is increased exposure and popularity for both sides of the enterprise.
In its latest collaboration, H&M teamed up with London-based but Canadian born Erdem Moralioglu, who launched his eponymous label in 2005 after working with Vivienne Westwood and Diane von Furstenberg. His romantic, feminine, colorfully patterned, lace detailed, and particularly floral designs have been sported by a slew of celebrities, including Keira Knightley, Cate Blanchett, Felicity Jones, Kate Middleton, Michelle Obama, and Alexa Chung, among others.
The line was officially announced in July, and a lookbook was finally released in October along with a campaign video directed by Baz Luhrmann, known for The Great Gatsby, Moulin Rouge!, and Australia. The video, The Secret Life of Flowers, is more like a film than an advertisement. A romantic story set in an enigmatic mansion in which it is always spring, the film is whimsical, magical, vibrant, and flowery, evoking Erdem’s signature floral prints.
A launch party was held on October 18th at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles, which had been set up to resemble an English garden, and featured performer Grimes. The event also acted as a pop-up shop where invited guests, including top-notch celebrities Kirsten Dunst, Kate Bosworth, Kate Mara, Alexa Chung, and Zendaya, could snag designs directly from the runway before the official release date of November 2nd. Nearly everything was already sold out by midday after the collection hit select stores and online.
Erdem has clearly incorporated the experimental textiles and vibrant prints he so loves into his collection for H&M, mingling soft silhouettes with bold patterns. Erdem x H&M includes not only clothing, but also accessories and footwear. For women, there are 33 styles and 13 different accessories. The line also marks Erdem’s premier foray into the world of menswear, with 21 styles and ten accessories.
H&M is not the only retailer to take up the in-vogue practice of designer collaborations. Uniqlo has released lines designed by JW Anderson and Jil Sanders and Topshop has worked with Christopher Kane and Mary Katrantzou before. Target also has a sizable number of designer collaborations with Missoni, Prabal Gurung, Alexander McQueen, Rodarte, and others under its belt. With the burgeoning popularity of designer collaborations in recent years, it seems likely that these retailers will continue to release collections with high fashion designers and that other stores will also begin to do so.