H&M is building up the long awaited release of this year's designer collaboration with Balmain, which hits stores on 5 November.
So, as teasers for the collaboration inevitably begin to dominate our social media feeds for the upcoming weeks, we round up everything you need to know about the eagerly-anticipated (and super glam) collection by the luxury French house headed up by Olivier Rousteing.
H&M last week revealed the official campaign for the collaboration, unveiling models Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Jourdan Dunn, Hao Yun Xiang and Dudley O’Shaughnessy (who you’ll recognise from Rihanna’s We Found Love video) as the stars and latest soldiers of Rousteing’s #BalmainArmy.
“When you love the Balmain world, you love the models that are part of it too. Kendall, Gigi and Jourdan are my friends, and they are the perfect choice to star in the Balmain x H&M campaign,” says Rousteing. “Love them.”
The campaign was shot by renowned fashion photographer Mario Sorrenti and shows the models posing in numerous looks from the collection, in what appears to be the world's most overdressed subway train ride.
Get ready to see these images splashed across billboards and in glossy magazines.
As usual it will cover all categories including womenswear, menswear and accessories.
The campaign gives us the biggest look at what the collection will be like. With tuxedo jackets, a monochrome jumpsuit, furry coats, military jackets, satin trousers and loads of Balmain's trademark embellishment.
Accessories aren't forgotten either with big and shiny jewellery on show: chunky necklaces and cuffs, oversized rings, massive earrings and armour-like belts. The bedazzled accessories will also include clutches (three which can be spied on Hadid and Dunn).
“The #BALMAIN world is about confidence and attitude, very French and rich yet effortless with a cool vibe,” writes Rousting in a Twitter Q&A he took part over the weekend. “The #Balmain men and women are warriors.”
By now, the full collection has been unveiled (scroll down to see the lookbook below)
Price details have emerged. While Balmain’s mainline pieces easily reach thousands, we’d expect the H&M collection to be in line with the affordable price range of the high street store, however, prices start around £12 for accessories, but at the top end, they far outstrip usual H&M prices, at £299.099 for a leather jacket or £399.99 for the embroidered jacket and an embellished dress worn by Hadid at a New York Fashion Week party.
Satin blouses, skirts and trousers are around the £50 mark.
It’s not the first time H&M collaborations outstrip their usual prices. The 2013 Isabel Marant collaboration had an average price of £106.49. More expensive collections also included Matthew Williamson (average price £112.76), Lanvin (£129.08) Comme des Garcons (112.76) and Roberto Cavalli (£110).
See full price list HERE.
Who wore it first
Like last year when Rihanna debuted Alexander Wang’s collection for the high-street giant during New York Fashion Week, this year models Jourdan Dunn and Kendall Jenner were given the honour to debut the pieces at the Billboard Music Awards 2015, as they flanked designer Rousteing decked out in designs from the range on the red carpet (Kendall is wearin that £399.99 embellished jacket).
However, the full collection was introduced to the world in a star-studded fashion show in New York on 20 October, like no other, which saw some of the biggest model names of the moment, from Karlie Kloss to Joan Smalls, and a surprise comeback performance from the nineties' favourite boyband Backstreet Boys. See the show details here.
Is the collection true to Balmain’s mainline?
“I wanted the collaboration to stay true to my vision,” Rousting says in a video for H&M. “Every fitting, tailoring, everything has to look exactly like my vision.”
The pieces are heavily inspired by the mainline Balmain collections. For example, the intricately embroidered navy velvet jacket on Jenner is pretty similar to a look from 2012, while Dunn’s ruched red belted skirt looks identical to one seen on the 2013 catwalk, and the navy top is pretty a similar to an orange version from the 2014 show. This is good news, of course, for fans looking for an authentic piece of Balmain but at bargain prices (well, kind of).
Here we compare the collaboration with Balmain's mainline.
When does it launch?
It lands H&M stores worldwide, and online, on 5 November.
Get ready to camp overnight
“I’m a H&M boy. I mean, I’m a H&M generation. I was waiting two or three hours to get the clothes, so I know the excitement that can happen to the people,” explains Rousteing.
So far, the designer collaborations with the Swedish giant have proved a success, with shoppers queuing outside shops overnight just to grab a piece or two from the limited edition collection. And Balmain will likely be no exception.
Social media fuss
H&M has been teasing fans on social media to give a glimpse of the collection, and it has created the hashtag of #HMBalmainNation to promote the collaboration.
“Joining Balmain and H&M is joining an entire nation #HMBalmainNation and it’s a symbol of togetherness.”
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