Two unique fashion brands: one designer, one high-street. A collaboration of these? Controversial. Balmain, the haute couture fashion house under the direction of Olivier Rousteing who claims that ‘Balmain DNA is all about unique’, and H&M, an international fashion brand that sells fashionable clothes at affordable prices. A combination of these wouldn’t seem a likely collaboration to the conventional shopper.
Nevertheless, H&M boasts an impressive list of collaborators, including Karl Lagerfeld, Versace and Alexander Wang. After announcing on Instagram that the ‘Balmain x H&M’ collaboration was to take place, the campaign became overwhelmed with attention from the press, and the media storm surrounding the news was only exacerbated by the models that faced the campaign itself. Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Jourdann Dunn have all worn the clothes to high-profile events over the last few months, giving sneak previews of what was to come. Stood with Olivier Rousteing at the Billboard Music Awards, Kendall and Jourdann were both seen wearing thigh high boots, suggesting that these would be a key piece from the collaboration. Blazers with strong angular shoulders feature in the range, alongside tightly structured mini-dresses and obvious military style influences – all which are evident in the campaign shoots.
“For those who have forever been lusting after that ONE Balmain dress, you’re likely to find a cheaper alternative in the H&M collab”
The range is much cheaper than original Balmain, offering high-end clothing at affordable prices. Most of the pieces look almost identical to those of the original designer ranges and for those who have forever been lusting after that ONE Balmain dress, you’re likely to find a cheaper alternative in the H&M collab. However, it’s all still quite costly, and would be out of the average student’s price range. One of the Balmain x H&M dresses worn by Gigi Hadid to an NYFW party retailed at an eye-watering £399.99. Ouch.
Some of the pieces are also slightly TOO extravagant to get enough use out of, and so memorable that if you hate to outfit repeat, you’ll get one use out of them then they’ll disappear to the back of your wardrobe for evermore. The unique tailoring and style of Balmain means it may be difficult to translate the high-end look to casual wear, so the range may not appeal to everyone it was designed for.
So what do you think? Does the collaboration make you want to race to the shops with all your summer savings?