Friday, November 19, 2010

Lanvin for H&M

A couple of weeks ago I had a sneaky real-life peek at the Lanvin for H&M collection, aka Lanvin Hearts H&M.

To physically touch, feel and swoon over Lanvin's designs for H&M's latest designer collaboration was a real privilege. Although now I want everything and am getting a bit anxious about the launch-day hysteria (flashbacks to the mob at Viktor & Rolf for H&M still haunt me!).

However, the good news is that Lanvin Hearts H&M will be available online on 23rd November from 7am, while the collection goes on sale in the UK in selected stores at 9am. And I've heard that there will be wristbands allocated to the queue for timed slots so that shopping is a pleasurable experience rather than a scrum.

US readers, you get the collection tomorrow as Lanvin Hearts H&M launches at 8am across the States. In total, H&M's latest designer collaboration will be available in around 200 stores worldwide.

So, why do I love it so? Well, getting a Lanvin dress at high-street prices is reason enough. With beautifully cut dresses in an array of gemstone colours and pieces that are oh-so Lanvin, Alber Elbaz, artistic director of the French fashion house, has followed the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney and Sonia Rykiel by translating the desirability of a high-end fashion label onto the high street. It's glamorous and fun. And affordable.

Dresses, many in luxurious silk, range from £79.99 to £149.99 (for the tulle dress above), with the majority hitting the £99.99 price point. T-shirts with Lanvin's trademark embellishment are £24.99 to £29.99 and a so-this-season faux-feather gilet and faux-fur coat are £59.99 and £99.99 respectively. And, lest I forget, there are shoes, too, at £69.99!

The most expensive item is a silk-satin trench with rough-edged seams and a faux-feather collar for £199.99, while you can bag a organic-cotton tote featuring a Lanvin illustration for a mere £1.99, with 30% of the price being donated to UNICEF.

The menswear collection, meanwhile, features day tuxes, sporty trousers and jogging bottoms, merino knits and metallic-coloured brogues. Plus, there are unisex sunglasses - a snip at £14.99. There's even Lanvin Hearts H&M lipsticks, available in four shades, for £7.99 each.

To launch the collection in style, Lanvin and H&M held a haute couture show in New York last night, sending customised pieces from the collection down the runway. And, those pieces could be yours! Along with original signed sketches by Alber Elbaz, looks from the show are being auctioned at with proceeds being donated to UNICEF. The online auction ends at midnight on 26th November, so get bidding now.

For more pictures of the Lanvin Hearts H&M collection, check out my Facebook page and let me know what you're hankering after!

To finish, some words from Alber Elbaz...

'I have said in the past that I would never do a mass-market collection,' admits Lanvin's artistic director, 'but what intrigued me was the idea of H&M going luxury rather than Lanvin going public. This has been an exceptional exercise, where two companies at opposite poles can work together because we share the same philosophy of bringing joy and beauty to men and women around the world.'

And, what joy!

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