Resounding WTFs and a Mexican wave of splayed hands-to-chests à la screaming Mary went around the world when actresses Michelle Williams, Amanda Seyfried and everyone’s favourite prissy SATC sistah, Kristen Davis hit red carpets in H&M creations.
At the time of each hit in 2011 and early 2012, fashion watchers knew H&M had something up their sleeve but we never expected a slow burning pre-campaign like this.
The looks were all to be part of the H&M Exclusive Glamour Conscious Collection. This line by the Swedish fast fashion giant is their exercise in ‘ethical fashion’, after a horrific fire at an alleged H&M sweatshop in Bangladesh in 2010. In fairness, the brand took the media fallout on the chin and have gone on to commemorate the victims and their families annually, while undertaking labour and human rights education of textile workers in Bangladesh.
This glamourous ‘red carpet’ collection is all made from sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton and recycled polyester. A great marketing idea to raise the profile of the brand without piggy backing along with the likes of Versace and Marni, and give them a bite at the prom/debutante market. Usually the Conscious Collection is very white, airy and boho but this is some heavy textured faux-couture with a shot of diva.
This is a young collection. Although we can see late teens and early twenties whipper snappers lapping it up, the colour palette is very sophisticated and lends the collection to a daring 30+. There are a few pieces such as the floral print dress and jacket, the purple embroidered mini and the pink split skirt and top that might flatter the more mature among H&M’s customer base (self included, and I’m looking at you Madonna).
So there you have it, H&M weren’t being ironical with their red carpet surprises, they were subliminally preparing you to part with your cash.
H&M Exclusive Glamour Conscious Collection will be available from April 12 in around 100 stores H&M worldwide, as well as selected looks on-line.