Two reasons why I’m really not a proper fashion blogger:
– I’ve not yet been to J Crew, I may not even go until next week; and
– I didn’t even log on to the H&M website today.
I know, right? It’s blogging blasphemy, but I just can’t get excited about designer collaborations. It’s not that I don’t like Ms Marant – my pink scarf is absolutely gorgeous; and god knows I’ve put those wedge trainers on my Christmas wishlist more than once
take the hint Mr TMT – but I can’t help thinking, in the style of Carrie Bradshaw, ‘are high street/designer collaborations all they’re cracked up to be?’.
The general consensus seems to be that when you buy from one of these collections you’re getting a designer piece at a high street price, but what if you’re just getting a low-end high street piece at a high-end hight street price? I got sucked in during the Marni x H&M furore and ordered a pair of silver sandals for £39.99. A fair enough price for leather, sure, but would I have ordered those same sandals at the same price if they’d just said plain old H&M on the label and come tied together with a piece of elastic, rather than in a funky semi-transparent green box? Probably not, is the honest answer – they give me blisters and cankles. I’m not sure which is worse.
I had a squiz at the collection when the images were released (well how could you not – if you’re on Instagram, Twitter or read any fashion related publication you probably felt like you were slapped in the face with it) and while I some of it, paying £200 for a H&M jacket isn’t something I’ll be doing soon, especially when Isabel Marant Etoile jackets start in the region of £280. I’d rather save a little longer and pay a little more for the real thing.
The gulf between designer and high street has narrowed considerably in recent years. Many designers have fantastic diffusion lines at accessible price points and stores like Whistles and Reiss bridge the gap beautifully, turning out sharp, modern, wearable collections that nod to trends without being as ostensibly ‘AW13’ as the catwalk collections. As a result, for me, ‘designer’ stuff doesn’t have quite the cachet it once did (bags and shoes excepted, natch). Personally, I’d rather spend my £200 on a well made jacket from Whistles.
I also can’t get hugely on board with the philosophy behind the collection – apparently Marant was tired of seeing mass produced, cheaper copies of her stuff churned out, so she thought she’d get a slice of the pie by churning out her own cheaper copies. Hmm. But isn’t £200 for a cotton jacket being a little bit grabby?
Well, apparently not – people will pay more, one is currently up to £427 on eBay as I type. Maybe she should have charged more?
Still each to their own, ‘buy what makes you happy’ has always been my philosophy, and those girls pouring out of the stores clutching their tie-dye totes certainly did look happy, so she’s doing something right, it’s just not for me!
P.S. Isabel, you do know I had a pair of wedge trainers in 1996, right? They were from Tammy Girl.