Ever since Karl Lagerfeld became the first high end fashion designer to collaborate with Swedish fast fashion chain H&M (the man has always known how to predict the zeitgeist) in 2004 we’ve come to expect a certain … fervour about the designer collaborations the retailer embarks on each year.
That and a whole lot of elbows to the face as anybody who battled it out among the crowds in-store to get their mitts on a Stella McCartney x H&M blouse (2005), Isabel Marant x H&M boot (2013) or Alexander Wang x H&M hoodie (2014) can attest.
So it was refreshing when H&M announced this year’s collaboration, with Canadian-born, British-based designer Erdem Moralioglu, a designer who trades in romance of the floral, lacy and lush kind. One who has a quieter pull, and a certain delicate sense of the beautiful. Something needed in times where a whole lot of ugliness is being tolerated.
A campaign video directed by none other than Baz Luhrmann is also perhaps a testament to a shift toward style over fashion (and an appreciation of beauty, too).
Moralioglu once told Vogue.com that every season he does is “a chapter in the same book”, one of “colour, optimism, and oddities”. And indeed his most recent collection, shown at London Fashion Week, is testament to this, taking inspiration from Queen Elizabeth’s archives of her life of “jazz and dancing” in the 1950s.
So how does Erdem’s book of romance and oddities fit in with fast fashion?
Actually, rather well.