Last week, H&M showcased their Studio AW16 collection at their Cape Town studio. It is a beautiful and dreamy collection that called for an equally beautiful and intimate media preview, and we had the honour of working of working on the collection preview event.
Guests were awed by the long-table feast experience conceptualised by the talented Alwijn Burger of Blomboy, and the indulgent five-course menu by Jacques Erasmus.
A long-table dinner experience
It’s in the detail: a dinner experience to accompany a collection rich in detail
Below: a super dapper Seth Shezi of The Times and Business Day Wanted Magazine
We all know that when it comes to fashion, H&M is at the top of their game – their offering is always strong and the prices seriously attractive. What you may not know is that H&M is a family business. When H&M’s founder, Erling Persson, opened his first store in 1947 he came up with the name Hennes, which is Swedish for ‘hers’. After acquiring hunting and sportswear retailer Mauritz Widforss in 1968, Persson changed the name to Hennes & Mauritz to indicate the addition of menswear. From there it’s a hop, skip and a jump to the abbreviation H&M, which took place in 1974. It is currently run by Persson’s grandson, Karl-Johan Persson.
But back to the real business: H&M’s new collection. The #HMStudioAW16 collection was inspired by female power and romance in a nod to Swedish folklore. The items are rich in detail, from the precision of the cuts to the embroidery which runs through it like a thread. Oversized shoulders and fitted waists contrast with this feminine detailing in individual items such as long-sleeved, draped dresses.
There is a new femininity in this collection. It’s about strength and power as well as folklore and romance. It’s very elevated, and very real,” says Ann-Sofie Johansson, H&M’s creative advisor.
Salonniere: Jackie Burger of Salon 58
The lovely Aisha Baker of Baked The Blog
Which is not to say that they have forgotten about the men.
Menswear Studio AW16
“It started with quality such as the fabrics,” says Andreas Lowenstam, H&M’s head of menswear. “The fabrics are so rich that we immediately knew that we wanted to build the collection around the perfect coat.”
Other classics were updated too. The bomber was elongated to create an entirely new style of jacket and the car coat was made new by using recycled wool. Traditional fabrics such as corduroy make a return in up-to-date, urban utilitarian shapes that fits well in the often monochromatic outfits which make for a new kind of uniform for everyday wear in the city.
“I love the fact that the clothing, which is so calm, make such a strong statement,” says Lowenstam.
The folkloric theme was extended to the children’s designs too and gives a fantasy-like appeal to the first H&M Studio kids collection ever and takes its inspiration from the works of Swedish illustrator and artist John Bauer who is known for his magical illustrations of children’s folk tales in the previous century.
#HMStudioAW16 will arrive in H&M South Africa at the same time as the rest of the world on 8 September.
Photographs: Niquita Bento