5 best collaborations between H&M and a luxury brand

Let’s make this clear: you didn’t sleep well, work was exhausting, then it started raining on your way back. Pressure in your left tire was really low, or you missed your bus… Coming home sad, tired, annoyed. Looking at the mirror, you think, oh. Oh no. I’ve just spent another day of my life not wearing designer brands!

Who knows that feeling? Hmm? You don’t have to worry though. You can keep sleeping like a baby on your £19.99 Ikea bed, because your old friend H&M comes with a mission to spread love, positivity and sell clothes produced in Cambodia that are meant to be like Versace, Balmain or Kenzo, and what’s most important here – make you feel like you’re really wearing these brands. We all want to look cute, attractive and cross the town square with confidence while hot football-loving boys stare at us wearing these breathtaking outfits. gif image 23

Not feeling like buying your white t-shirt in Valentino on Bond Street, where you can’t even afford to breathe? Thank god Swedish chain, which on a daily basis sells Justin Bieber hoodies, £5.99 t-shirts, Justin Bieber hoodies and Justin Bieber t-shirts(what a variety) once a year makes a collection with a popular (in most cases) fashion brand. It all started over ten years ago, with names as inspiring as Lagerfeld or Comme Des Garçons. After many years of success, which in this case means people literally killing each other on the launch day, spending long long hours queuing, and then reselling clothes for at least twice its price on eBay, H&M keeps riding this profitable bike.

The newest collab between tasteful Swedes and a high-end giant will drop this November and we can definitely expect something interesting as this year’s brand is Moschino. To mark this occasion, I chose 5 of my favourite H&M collaborations so far.

5. Erdem for H&Mimg_1035

The first one on my list is the collection from last year, which happened to be so interesting, it reached out to a lot of my friends, even though the brand itself isn’t that famous and operates only in the world of womenswear. Canadian-Turkish-English designer (oh god, this guy must have a lot of passports) designs pretty vintage-looking garments with floral prints. To promote the collection, H&M made a short film directed by Baz Luhrmann, that tells a story of two gay boys who hooked up at a dinner party in the old castle while the old lady was watching. Sounds chic.

Despite the ridiculous idea, I enjoyed the whole concept of working with a brand that’s both luxurious and relatively unknown to the general public. It was also the only chance to ever get your hands on Erdem menswear, as the brand only sells womenswear as mentioned before. A silky pajama looking floral outfit is definitely my favourite here.

4. Balmain for H&M

Balmain’s creative director, young and beautiful Olivier Rousteing knows how to play the game. A few years ago, when his brand was on top of the game(it still kind of is, though), they announced the release of a collection with H&M and world went absolutely crazy. Favourite brand of all the Jenner-Kardashians, that sells clothes looking rich, expensive, covered in heavy golden embroidery, tons of pearls and other sparkly shit like that – it all made people wait for long hours, just to get a t-shirt saying “Balmain London” or “France” or just “Europe” if you’re from an irrelevant city, which of course is a cheaper copy of £185 Balmain logo top.

The collection is the typical Balmain rich and famous show-off style we all want and love – leather joggers, biker jeans, evening double-breasted blazers, heavy embroidered bomber jackets, leather jackets, military-style overcoats… With a campaign starring Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, and a strong TV advertising that in fact, started after the collection officially sold out, everyone was talking about this, well, beautiful mess.

3. Alexander Wang for H&M

Sex sells best. Things that lead to it sell almost as good. Sportswear is one of these things. Guys who look like they’re going to the gym will always seem sexier than ones that look like a fucking Christmas tree. Period.

Alexander Wang is one of the smarter designers of our times. His garments often black, inspired by hip hop culture, are very wearable, appealing and versatile. His love for the synthetic sport and Activewear fabrics can be seen in his collection for H&M.

Who wouldn’t like to see guys running around in designer leggings and neoprene sweatshirts? Or girls dressed like they just came back from casting to the newest Tomb Raider movie? This collection gave us something fresh and attractive and filled The blogosphere with an overwhelming amount of WANG hype. Yasssssss.

2. Maison Martin Margiela for H&M

Just a moment before John Galliano took over the Margiela fashion house, the brand created an artistic collection, some sort of throwback Thursday selection of what the legendary Belgian designer introduced to people in the past. Full of crazy, typical for Margiela ideas, such as painted shoes, painted jeans, reversed jackets, sweaters made of football scarves, fur coat, crazy necklaces, duvet-coat (amazing). I remember buying myself a sweater illusion long sleeve top and a pair of Chelsea boots painted in white, that I never wore in public because at 16 years old, I was too scared of people’s reaction.

The avant-garde collection wasn’t a commercial hit but gave us some of the most remarkable pieces ever created in a designer collab. The quality was amazing and online hype for a camel coat that Kanye West wore to the launch event – mental.

1. Versace for H&M

Some people just play by different rules. I’m rich bitch, I’m the upper class sings Lady Gaga, in her 2013 song about Donatella Versace – the woman who takes kitsch to such Italian, such fabulous level that everything can be forgiven.

Donatella first refused to work with a high street chain, which made the whole collaboration even more exclusive when the project was finally announced. A collection full of pink, sparkling dresses worn by blond runway heroines and men’s patterned suits and leather jackets made an amazing glamorous impression. And come on, Prince performed at the after-party, everyone lost their shit.

Gucci or Prada? What are the differences between two Italian fashion giants?

“It’s time for this brand to tell another story.” Said Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s current creative director during his interview for New York Times. Charismatic man that seems like Gandalf or Dumbledore mixed with an impressionist artist, just like Monet, paints his dreamy, colourful and bohemian visions on the canvas of current fashion world. At the same time, Miuccia Prada, 68-year old granddaughter of back then just a luggage company’s founder Mario Prada, sends legions of serious looking boys and girls down the runway in their nylon jumpsuits and futuristic sneakers.

“I left home at 18, which is very strange for Italians, because we’re very attached to our families(…)” said former Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci. This statement really makes sense when looking at big Italian fashion houses that still rule the world today. Prada is one of the brands that kept their business in the family, without any external directors being involved. Founded as a luggage company by Mario Prada in 1913, eventually ended up in his granddaughter’s hands in 1978. Ever since then Prada company kept on changing and evolving, at the same time staying loyal to its unique aesthetic.

That has not always been the case with Gucci though. Since the death of company’s founder in 1953 the brand has gone through many creative directors, including Tom Ford himself. Despite being one of the most important names in fashion, Gucci changed its vibe many times in the past, most recently transforming from kitschy, stereotypically luxurious designs to dreamy, nature inspired pop story with a royal vintage finish.

Prada

Unlike the most of Italian brands, Prada’s style is NOT about obvious sexiness. While Donatella Versace’s team throws another tight, silky red dress with golden hardware at some terrified Eastern European model and yells: wear it!!! Be a strrrrrong woman, Prada keeps doing her thing. Brand’s collections often include blacks, whites and beiges, as well as futuristic shapes and synthetic fabrics. It’s Miuccia Prada that started using military quality grade nylon to produce bags, in order to revolutionise the way we look at luxury.

Mrs Prada admits to dislike snobbery. Most of her designs don’t include an obvious reference to brand’s logo. At the same time though, you can’t walk past a person wearing something Gucci, without thinking: “Oh, wow, isn’t that Gucci that belt over there? I’m such a poor fuck”. Insects, butterflies, red snakes, cartoon ghosts, GG monogram… there are so many symbols that scream Gucci immediately, while at the same time, Prada is more about reversed snobbery, making luxury recognisable for only those who belong to so called elite and know the specific aesthetics.

Picture of Miuccia Prada

Because of non-aggressive branding, some interestingly themed designs Prada comes up with every season often get copied by high street brands without general public noticing the similarities. For example, Zara’s current collection which features comic book pages printed on garments such as shirts and tops is a direct copy of Prada spring/summer 2018 collection.

Prada:

Zara:

I am not saying Gucci doesn’t get copied. It does, at least twice more often. But general, Zara and H&M consuming public is more aware of how Gucci stuff looks like, while more old school luxury stays, well, old school, that actually stands for: unknown.

Unlike the boy who went to the moon and never came back, I mean Alessandro Michele, Miuccia Prada doesn’t consider fashion a form of art. “My job is to sell” she says. And, well, she does sell a lot. Despite her pieces being often impractical or just pure strange, Miuccia’s net worth is currently 6.8 billion dollars, which makes her the richest female designer alive.

Gucci

The man who brought WAG’s favourite brand back to life is Alessandro Michele. At the beginning of his journey with Gucci, Michele was asked to design a replacement ready to wear collection in just five days.

He hasn’t been creating for Gucci for long, but already managed to come up with brand’s most recognisable image so far, and I’m not afraid to say that. And come on, his work helped him with making friends with Jared Leto and Lana Del Rey.

Gucci’s creative director Alessandro Michele

Despite being amazing at sales and designing wallets every gal and lad want, from Portsmouth to Stirling, Alessandro is responsible of some weird phenomenon, something I call high fashion appropriation.

Current Gucci is like a smoothie made of The Great Gatsby, fantasy stuff like World of Warcraft, 17th century’s aristocratic style, Rae Sremmurd, Supreme and a headache. From already iconic pieces like Ace sneakers or t shirts with a fake logo, to more extravagant outerwear and colourful knitwear. Alessandro Michele’s usage of colours is like a village girl on the prom night – good intentions, diamond heart, trying her best, excited and passionate… but the final effect – not necessarily good.

Gucci’s policy when it comes to brand reception is completely different from Prada’s. For them, the more people talk the better. Even if those people are not the real customers. Hip hop kids? Let’s go! Gucci Gang? Whatever that means! Belgian hipsters hungry for some dope specs and green Alice in Wonderland wool coat? Let’s give them that? Rappers wanting to look like they just shot 5 people outside their mansion? Why not!

Don’t get me wrong. Michele is a genius of his kind that makes pretty things and most importantly – does his job very well. One word: revenue.

Equality, feminism, gender roles… My thoughts on Amy Schumer and her new film “I feel pretty”

Amy Schumer is probably the most hated stand-up comedian on the planet. Constantly criticised in America for her controversial jokes and topics she likes to choose for her TV and stand up content, but somehow still influential and loved by lots of famous people in the perfect world of showbiz, glitter and NYC penthouses. I’ve heard her Netflix special was the first one ever to receive a one-star rating from the viewers. Well, I admit that her performance in that one didn’t set my knickers on fire, no fire brigade was called to Shettleston while watching, but the general reception of her work still surprises me. In a bad way though, as it shows how much more we have to learn in modern society.

For those who are not familiar, Amy jokes about her vagina, periods, sex life, relationships with men and other widely known but not spoken about awkward topics. It’s Friday night. Legions of young Americans, armed with alcoholic beverages, ice cream, french fries, whatever, can’t wait to see Beyonce performing on TV. Their heart rate influenced by tons of Diet Coke, peri peri wraps from nearby BBQueen Grill restaurant and Beyoncé’s empowering lyrics and soul-lifting dance moves is faster than bullets of their guns they can legally purchase after turning 18. Beyonce is so amazing, so empowering, such a great example for young girls, black women, people of colour – that’s something most people would say. I like Beyoncé too. She’s an exceptional performer, her songs are great and I love singing along to Love on Top after eleven £3.30 vodka sodas at 2:31 AM.

I just don’t understand how one performer can dance provocatively, sing about sex and use curse words and everyone including Obamas, Oprah, middle-aged housewives and white millennials with student loans bigger than Beyonce’s career itself go crazy when the other is being called unfunny and trash. But Tom, she’s just not funny, that’s all. Ok, but come on, let’s get real – when you don’t enjoy something, you just change the channel or do something else with your time – go shopping, go to the gym, fold trousers, yodel at Walmart… but some people, quite a lot, choose to make “Amy Schumer cringe compilations” and post them on YouTube.

Recently, I met one guy from the States and invited him to come over. We had a chat about the differences between American and British TV, especially chat shows. I told him how much I love Graham Norton, where celebrities, just like us normal people, can have a drink and swear a little bit. In America, even the word “swallow” has to be beeped out, as it might be taken in the wrong way. At least that’s how that boy explained it. When asked about Amy Schumer, he said: It’s just… tasteless. For a woman to talk like that, joke like that.

It’s 2018. We stand together for gender equality and at the same time chick from Long Island joking about a stranger going down on her being a hero is an issue for us? I work in a shop and every day I see guys literally scratching their balls in public, talking about girls in an objectifying way. But boys will be boys I guess, just like haters gonna hate or something. Unless we change the way we raise them, together with the way we raise girls. Hopefully, your daughters will be able to say whatever they want to say – without being judged as women.

Today I had a chance to attend a pre-screening of Amy’s new movie I Feel Pretty (in cinemas May 4) somewhere in Odeon outside Glasgow City Centre. I won’t tell you where exactly because during the journey I was too busy pretending I’m Ariana Grande while her new song was playing, and I didn’t pay attention to the road.

If you feel like I’m kinda right, but at the same time don’t like explicit and vulgar humour – you should give Amy Schumer a chance and go see her new movie. I feel pretty is a HardSwearingAndDirectSexualTermsAndReferences-free comedy about a girl named Renee.

NYC based girl works in some shitty office lives in one of those you can do better hun apartments and struggles with low self-esteem. Living in the world full of perfect people while having a few extra lbs/kgs to cuddle can, indeed, be quite depressing. In order to become someone, she joins this gym nearby. What happens there? She suffers head injury after falling down from this bicycle thing. That’s why you’ll never see me at the gym. I’m fine with my 56 kilograms, thank you.

But wow, she hits her head really hard and suddenly starts seeing herself as a new person, hot as a supermodel, even though she, obviously, hasn’t changed at all. Extra (ridiculous and psychotic) confidence boost opens a lot of new doors for her. Except for talking to a stranger she met in the queue at Dry Cleaners, forcing him to ask her out and making him fall in love with her, she also proves that with enough confidence you can be like Beyoncé too! Despite being far from typical canons of beauty, Renee gets a job at one of the leading beauty companies and starts hanging out with them pretty girls.

I don’t feel like it’s my job to describe this film to you. That’s what Google and Wikipedia are for. I’m writing this to share my point of view on something I consider very important.

People were laughing. I tend to sit down with a bottle glass of wine after work, watch Amy’s comedy and post some on my Instagram story. I always get replies: omg she’s so unfunny. And suddenly I’m there sitting around all these people who are outside of ideological YouTube comment section battle, and hear them laugh.

Maybe Schumer chilled with using very explicit language and humour in this one, but there’s one thing this film and her stand up have in common – incredibly funny self-body shaming. Doesn’t sound good, but is good and can do good for you.

As soon as we understand what’s wrong with us and turn it into a joke – everything seems easier. Because nobody’s flawless. Well, maybe Beyonce…

5 things I hated while living in London.

I remember when I was seven, I had my first English lesson in Poland, in school. We learned how to introduce ourselves to others and say words apple and pear in English. It seems pretty basic, I know, but trust me. Just a few weeks and shit got real. We were translating Dido’s song “Thank you”, together with our teacher. Verse by verse, where she sings she had too much to drink and doesn’t want to get out of her bed at all. None of us had a clue what the song was about. That’s long years before first heartaches, friendzones and flirting with guys in tracksuits.

Another lesson I remember was a dialogue scene between two people, who randomly jumped into each other on the streets of London. That felt so ridiculous! Maybe we were seven, but we all knew that if people talk like that for real, somewhere, anywhere, something must be wrong with them.

“John, what a surprise! We should meet for a cup of tea and a biscuit!!!!” 

We were told since little kids that London is a city of red phone boxes and white townhouses. People are happy there, eating biscuits, drinking tea and living their happy lives. And if we learn English we can get a chance one day.

When I was 18, I worked with this somehow annoying girl. She was so nice, but I’m sorry, at the same time so trash…! She was obsessed with London, talking about it all the time. Oh my god, bitch, just book the Ryanair and go. Do you need a personal hotspot or what? Every few days there was a new picture of London taken from Google images that she would post on her Facebook. She would listen to the most cliche British rock music and walk around being so proud.

I always liked Britain very much too, but not as much as her. When I told everyone I’m leaving, many people replied saying, oh, *she* will be so jealous. If all she can do is post shitty stock images, then she’s going to be stuck in her dream forever.

But London, to my surprise, didn’t meet the expectations. At least not in full. White townhouses are only in SW1. What a shame. I thought I’d live in one… well…

I quickly fixed my mascara in the bathroom, because life is just a classroom, and got over it. But then started discovering more and more cracks in that ceiling. Here are some of my (least?) favourite surprises that no one ever told me about.

1. Standard of living + broken flats costing fortune

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I’m from Poland. You guys know we don’t have millions hidden under the sink. That’s why it’s a lot of us everywhere. That’s why from, well, one of the most desirable cities on the planet I expected an upgrade, not downgrade. In Poland, it’s not a lifetime achievement to have a living room in your flat, sofa to sit on, basic furniture or even a TV. In London? If I could get a pound every time I saw mould in someone’s flat, there would be no children starvation on Earth by now.

Many times I spoke to someone on Grindr(for those who don’t know, it’s like Facebook for gay people…) who seemed nice, with profile picture taken at the gym in good area, trendy haircut, just to find out they are like Snow White – living with seven, but no dwarfs, but cockroaches. 112 miles away from central London. Helicopter recommended.

For the record, my rent in London was 580 pounds per month, including bills, for a flat shared with 4 creepy Spaniards I didn’t even know, no lounge or living room. My bedroom had a broken ceiling, one chest of drawers and a bed that remembers the beginning of Cher’s singing career.

2. Tube on Monday morning

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A lot of people hate tube. With a passion. I actually like it. After moving out of London I started appreciating the idea of a train coming every two minutes, that can take you literally anywhere. There are other variations of it, like overground(mostly for east London) or DLR which is so cool and sometimes feels like a rollercoaster for bankers working in Canary Wharf… Of course, afternoons on weekdays are tough, so are mornings, but that’s a part of living in a big city.

What do I hate about the tube then?

The war of classes.

Everyone’s using tube. Even Rihanna ditched her driver to avoid horrific traffic jam and took tube to the O2 Arena. That’s why many times I observed signs of mutual hate between people so different, they wouldn’t have agreed to share space if it wasn’t absolutely necessary.

I used to live in Bethnal Green and work in Southwark. Which means I had to share the carriage with all the people working in the City – getting off at Liverpool Street or Bank. Type of cheeky middle-aged gentlemen with a beer belly, smelling of Dior Savauge they got for Christmas from their wives they cheat on at the office every day. I remember their facial expressions when they had to sit next to a south Asian older lady of different culture. They kept themselves glued to the screens of their fucking iPad Pros (12-inch version.)

Just not a nice feeling.

3. People drinking outside pubs after work on weekdays

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Sometimes certain things just piss you off, big time. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person(I hope). I personally hated being on a bus back from work on weekdays, driving through Moorgate and seeing pubs, one after another, full of the same type of men I described in a previous paragraph, drinking their pints and having a laugh with mates… like a hundred meters from the actual pub. 200 people around one pub, like it’s so hard just to move to another, less busy place. What an idiotic and annoying phenomenon. Maybe I just fucking hate highly dislike this specific part of society. And I just can’t help it.

4. Old Broad Street

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There’s a tiny street between Liverpool Street and Bank. Here’s a picture of it.

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Like Trump once said – looks good, doesn’t work. I think Hell might be a city made just from streets like that. 99% of my phone calls to work were made from that street. “Hi boss, I’m so sorry, I’m gonna be few minutes late… yes… yeah, exactly. I’m stuck in Bank. Again.”

There’s a term I find funny, created nowadays, mostly used in job offers that can be found online.

“Busy environment”

If you’d like to see what busy environment is like, I recommend you to take a bus 388 from East London towards Elephant and Castle on a weekday morning. I need to calculate how many weeks of my life I had lost on that street, staring at some poor guy unloading a delivery for a nearby cafe. He knows how it feels to be stressed. He has 3 buses stuck behind him every morning.

5. People living in Knightsbridge

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I still work for the same high street retailer I worked for in London, but it’s much better now. When they first told me I’m going to the Knightsbridge store I couldn’t be happier. I love high fashion and working literally opposite Harrods and next to boutiques of brands like Gucci, Prada, Versace etc. seemed like a dream come true. I imagined myself walking to work in my navy bomber and a cup of latte from french cafe Paul, looking at all of those fashionable people of Knightsbridge…

yeah, my ass.

Working in Knightsbridge was hell. Of course it’s a ridiculously wealthy area, however, I don’t believe people’s wealth makes them assholes. My friends and I worked in a few other rich parts of town but never had to deal with such ridiculous behaviour like in Knightsbridge.

How do I know these people actually live there? Because they kept coming every day, with their children that trust me, were hard to forget.

I remember being given a full shopping tote and told by a customer to count how much it would all be in total. After ten minutes, the screen of my calculator showed £900. From kids t-shirts worth a few pounds each. After telling the nice lady what the amount was, she asked if we can make some of the tops she chose to order, because she’d like the letters printed on them to be red. I told her then, that unfortunately we are a high street LOW PROFILE retailer and don’t offer such options yet, but I’ll be more than happy to let her know personally when the company starts providing services of this nature.

She was happy. Didn’t detect the sarcasm.