Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Matthew Williamson for H&M

I love designer/high-street collaborations. For a bargainista fashionista, it means designer style at high-street prices. Stella McCartney for H&M? Yep, been there. Celia Birtwell for Topshop? Sure, done that. So when my friend Claire invited me along to tonight's pre-launch evening for Matthew Williamson for H&M, I eagerly accepted.

I have to admit, I'm not really a Matthew Williamson girl. Jade Jagger, Sienna Miller, Kate Moss - they all look stunning in his designs. But, personally, I find his collections a bit too loud and, dare I say it, a bit brash. However, this latest H&M collaboration, following on from last autumn's hugely successful team-up with Comme des Garçons, promises to be even bigger and better as it rolls out to 1,600 H&M stores around the world tomorrow, so I was curious to check it out.

Williamson has raided his design archives, reworking his most popular designs to product a 20-piece collection for H&M. And its launch couldn't have come at a more perfect time. With the sun shining in the hottest April this decade, this summer-perfect collection definitely set the temperature soaring. In Williamson's trademark fuchsia and cobalt-blue colour palette, with bold, bright prints and peacock-feather and butterfly motifs, think Ibiza, think colourful, think fun.

The star buy (judging by the myriad shoppers milling around H&M's flagship Regent Street store where the pre-launch event was held) was the colourful abstract-print sequin dress - a Williamson signature piece for a mere £149. Claire snapped up the butterfly tee (£19.99) and the turquoise cashmere cardie with embroidered peacock feather curling over one shoulder (£49.99). Also available in fuchsia, Williamson says this cardie is a reworking of a piece Kate Moss wore in his first-ever catwalk show.

And me? Well, I discovered this rather cute tulip-shaped skirt (£39.99). In a fabulously textured navy and gold brocade, it's got two discreet side pockets and doesn't scream 'Matthew Williamson', which I like.

Anyway, content with our purchases, Claire and I left with Pixie Geldof (she hopped into a waiting car, we carried on to the Tube) and walked smugly past the snaking queue that had grown around the block. Matthew Williamson for H&M goes on sale tomorrow at 9am sharp, so get there early!

PS. Williamson's next instalment for H&M, including bikinis (Ibiza here we come...), hits stores on 14th May.

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