H&M F/W Collection Preview: For An Affordably Embellished Season

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H&M F/W 2012 Collection Preview

Dear Letters Lovers,

There is always a sense of excitement that comes with receiving an invite to the H&M Showroom. And this time is was no different. About two weeks ago, Inês Fontoura, head of PR & Communication in Portugal invited Francisco and I to the F/W Collection Preview.

And it’s always a privilege and a pleasure

Much to my discontent, I couldn’t RSVP because I’m busy in Madrid working for Agatha Ruiz de la Prada (the latter of course being much to my content and liking!)

But thankfully I have a wonderful partner, not to mention fantastic photographer, Francisco Steinwall who with the help of my dear friend Teresa Herédia, who you might know from Chic is More, were kind enough to go on my behalf and discover the beauties that H&M is commercializing this upcoming season.

Before having received feedback and photos from Francisco & Teresa, I took the time to read Artur Araujo’s opinion regarding the Swedish brand’s new collection, that any one can access at his blog Artur in the Woods, one of my favorite Portuguese blogs that I read RELIGIOUSLY.

Why? Because Artur has a way with words that speaks to me.

He’s simple, brief and to the point but never frivolous or superficial.

And he knows his fashion.

And I would like to make Artur’s words regarding this season’s H&M designs my own :

“Obvious Balenciaga, Givenchy, Céline vibes”, but, thankfully a collection that does not fall into the category of a ridiculous cheap runway haute-couture knock-off.  Artur Araújo


We know that a number of the big named designers focused on embellishments for the following season in the form of sewn on beads, lace, golds and jewels, especially Rochas. This theme is equally present and important in the H&M offering.

But thankfully, as Artur hinted at, it’s not pretentious.

The Accessories

As mentioned previously, costume jewellery plays an important role, this season more than ever.

And H&M has neatly executed a collection that caters to consumers’ current desires based on the what a number of haute-couture designers have mapped out for future seasons.

Talk about bling-bling embellishments…

These clutches bring an indie-chic feeling to mind,  reverting me to a design mix-up of

Marni & Custo Barcelona.

A number of gold accessories | Love the hair elastic

The earrings below: a slight art-deco vibe…

Teresa Héredia sporting one of the collection’s bling bling bracelets which fall perfectly in line with consumers’ current bracelet craze that embraces the phrase “the more the merrier”.

However, you have to be very careful with this kind of jewellery. Don’t dress it up to much. Keep is simple.

Costume jewellery is costume jewellery.

It shouldn’t pose as anything else and one should never try to pass it off as more than it actually is.

Women’s Clothing

Let it be said that the H&M showroom makes rags look like Chanel. The presentation of each piece is impeccable and the light entering the room is exquisite.

Loving the sequined jumper.

So,yes, embellishments play a massive role in the collection.

And I have to say I’m quite keen on H&M’s offering of metallic, sequined and costume-jeweled pieces, but only if the pieces are combined in a simple, pondered way.

Loving the metallic blue woolen jumper and the dark blue dress with an embellished colour.

Below: the lovely Inês Fontoura, head of H&M PR & Communication in Portugal:

A sequined tunic

I’m also a fan of the burgundy jacket needless to say that the fit of such a piece has to be impeccable.

Overall, the variety of visually rich pieces make a statement, but in order for them to make the RIGHT statement, fit is focus factor.

Not to mention the use of simple complements to avoid the outcome of confusing or crass look.

One might never be overdressed, but one should never be over-embellished.

It’s vulgar.

Men’s clothing

Commenting and evaluating menswear is not my forte. However, I will say that it’s very clean & simple.

Nothing particularly exciting, but on the whole, an extremely wearable variety of items.

Blocked autumn colours, jeans and blazers

Below, an H&M t-shirt that epitomizes the firm’s strong eco-friendly positioning and philosophy.

The Shoes


If there is one thing I have very strong feelings about it’s shoes.

I have a general rule about NEVER buying shoes at H&M or Zara simply because they end up hurting my feet or breaking.

But there was a pair I saw that I might consider breaking that rule for…

A silvered heel:

Not my favourite pair…

Some classic lace-ups:

A very space-age inspired and in my opinion dangerous pair simply because white shoes are bound to stain.

And below are my rule-breakers.

Yes they’re kitch, yes they’ll probably get ruined and yes they’ll hurt.

But I’ve got a pair of jeans and an initial monogrammed white shirt that would loved to be kitched up by these sandals.

Conclusions

Visually, a sparkling and embellished effort on H&M’s part which is sure to sell out quickly.

As usual, the brand has managed to perfectly democratize trends seen on haute-couture runways, making them available to the masses at far more than accessible prices.

Needless to say that as with most things in life, and especially when it comes to fast fashion, with everything comes a trade off.

While trends can be translated at lower mass market consumer friendly prices, quality cannot and therefore, in order for these pieces to work, the fit needs to be absolutely spot-on.

One also needs to keep in mind that if too many of the costume jeweled pieces are combined together the overall outcome can be perceived overdone & cheap.

With glitter and golds you’ve got to keep things simple.

Especially if the G’s in question are not luxury items.

Shop with caution & care but make the most of it.

Special thanks to Inês Fontoura, Francisco Steinwall & Teresa Herédia.

And of course to Artur Araújo for his words of wisdom!

    

✩ H&M A/W 2012-2013 ✩

. Soon available at a store near you .

All photographs in this post are property of FLFL | Credits : Francisco Steinwall

Lot’s of Love from a Lisboner in Madrid,

C.L.V

   

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