LIVE FROM PARIS: Folles for French Fashion – la collection de Lanvin pour H&M
Alaina Urbahns, Class of 2012, reports from the Lavin for H&M fashion launch in Paris.
PARIS, Tuesday, November 23, 2010. Today was the launch of the Lanvin capsule collection for H&M. Since the collection had been hyped up considerably in fashion magazines around the globe, I thought I should discover what the fuss was all about. The idea itself was pretty interesting…dresses, skirts, jackets and accessories designed by the celebrated Alber Elbaz, all retailing for under 200€. I was definitely intrigued, so I decided to go to the opening with a fellow fashion fanatic and Université de Paris—VII student, Emma, who hails from Australia and also has an amazing style all her own (more about Emma later.)
The store opened at 8 am, so we planned on meeting there at 7:45 (note: it is still dark in Paris at 7:45 am and, for anyone who knows me, getting up that early is nothing short of completely miraculous.) We chose to go to the H&M store by Printemps and Galleries Lafayette, which is one of the larger stores, to ensure they wouldn’t run out of stock. By the time we arrived, there was already a line of about 200 Frenchwomen and their friends (and a few tourists) curving around the block; it reminded me of Black Friday in the U.S. I was even told by the guards that some women from the suburbs of Paris had rented hotel rooms nearby in order to be in line at 5:30! Now that’s serious shopping dedication.
Typically, the French are not the world’s most organized group (my apologies to any French readers, but anyone who has applied for a French visa knows what I’m talking about…) Nevertheless, this operation was run with military precision. As we waited in line, we were given colored bands specifying when we were allowed to enter the store. Each color group was given only 15 minutes to shop. I expected it to be a mad frenzy, but thankfully they had plenty of stock and calm was maintained throughout the whole event—-also maybe due to the ten or so beefy bodyguards patrolling the area. You never know how crazy fashion-philes might get!
The collection itself was a little disappointing. Just like any shopping experience, a lot of the designs looked significantly better online and on the mannequins than they did on an actual person. That being said, there were some stellar items in the collection, guaranteed to quench any designer fanatic’s thirst.
To check out the collection, go to hm.com. Sadly, the store in Philadelphia won’t be stocking the Lanvin items, but a number of stores in Washington and New York will. The items will be going fast, since some of the styles here in Paris were completely sold out within 48 hours. Allez-y vite, and happy shopping!