In which H&M becomes the new Zara
It’s been pretty much a given for some time now – for more seasons than I care to count, Zara has been rolling out the catwalk-inspired hits at a rate of knots, producing stellar collections that have been flying off …
It’s been pretty much a given for some time now – for more seasons than I care to count, Zara has been rolling out the catwalk-inspired hits at a rate of knots, producing stellar collections that have been flying off racks faster than they can be hung up. But now there’s a new kid in town (if new means old but newly fabulous): H&M.
The writing was on the wall with the release of the brilliant A/W lookbook, but it took an in-the-flesh trip to see what I suspected: that A/W 2012 is H&M’s strongest season in several. In fact, I would go so far as to say that this is H&M’s strongest collection since it came to Ireland – an advent that I was so excited about, but that let me down from that good day to this. I thought it was a grass-is-greener type of thing, but when I went into H&M a few days ago and emerged €200 poorer, I knew that things had changed.
What are my highlights? Stunning wool jersey knits with embellished cuffs reminiscent of Joanne Hynes (in a very diluted form); cropped trousers in a stretch cotton with a slight slit at the ankle, which is fabulous for those of us who are curvy of calf; tailored shirts and jackets in an array of colours and patterns; oversized jersey tees in grey, burgundy, mustard and black with oh-so-cool rolled-up sleeves; sleeveless peplum tops in a stretch scuba fabric that have to be seen to be believed; and a real variety in identifiable “trends” throughout the store, which has been missing from H&M for a while now. Instead of the usual mish-mash of styles, the store seemed to be divided into workwear, vintage-inspired embellished pieces, patterns, Céline-inspired hues, baroque pieces and digital prints.
Check it out – and let me know if you think I’m wrong!