With all the hoo-hah about the H&M/Comme collab, you may not have known that the Anotony Price for Topman ‘Priceless‘ collection was unveiled last night. Sadly, I never got the Antony Price interview I was promised but I’m planning to head over to Topman/Oxford Circus this arvo to check it out. I hear the coats are particularly desirable (and come up small!)…
Sport Nouveau, Memphis, Voodoo, Aztec and Eighties were just some of the words and phrases bandied about at the Topshop press day. Unlike Miss Selfridge, Topshop can take inspiration from a bygone era and style it so it looks new for now. That’s just what they’ve done for SS09 with tribal graphic T-shirts and leggings giving a gentle nod to Bodymap (Google them) but adding a noughties edge with silk boyfriend blazers, suede perforated peg pants and roll-up jeans. Last summer’s Liberty sprigs reappear next season along with plaid flannel shirts – this time reworked with heavy studding- and ’80s-wash denim (yuk). Shoes are as strong as ever…look, they’ve even done a Chloe ‘inspired’ boot!
I’m sure it sells very well but Miss Selfridge has become a tad predictable in its collections as essentially they always consist of a rehash of some past decade or other. Next spring it’s the turn of the bad-taste ’80s as Wednesday’s unveiling looked a lot like someone had been let loose in Absolute Vintage and carted the whole lot of primary-coloured suede gilets, bustier dresses and chain-strap bags to this disused space in the heart of Covent Garden. No matter, the presentation was super-slick with banks of TVs displaying iconic 80s films and videos (Who’s That Girl! Prince! Footloose!) to get us into the groove. I like how the ‘stories’ were arranged in colours – jade, royal blue and white are key. Highlights? The denim pieces were really strong and destined for commercial success in my eyes but a dubious beige acrylic crochet sweater was a bad-taste statement too far.
So after much anticipation, C-Day has arrived. I had wanted to go to one of the Comme Des Garcons for H&M openings but alas, it clashed with an acupuncture appointment which I decided had to take priority. In the event, I found myself in Regent Street after lunch so popped my head in to see if anything was left. Despite all the hype and hysteria, I was greeted with a completely civilised scene. All the rails were fully stocked and an army of staff were visible tidying and folding. There was no frantic or undignified behaviour at all. Aside from some of the grumbles I’ve been reading along the lines of ‘where is the wacky stuff?’, I thought the collection was ‘spot’ on (if you’ll excuse the pun because if there was one key theme it was graphic polka dots). White shirts, perfect-cut trench coats, merino-wool knits, grey marl, polka dots, Peter-Pan collars, long-sleeve tees – these are the essence-of-Comme signatures that appeal to me, and the things that will sell in volume at H&M, not the crazy catwalk stuff that the average high-street customer can’t get their head around.
Although the polka dot scarves and bags were nowhere to be seen by the time I made my appearance, I was happy to see the classic round-neck polka dot cardigans in grey or dark red with white dots. I agonised over whether to get one or both but decided to play sensible and stick to a solitary grey one. I also eyed up the navy wool jersey long-sleeve tees (identical to the ‘real’ Comme ones I used to stockpile in my twenties) but £30 was a shade too dear for me, even if they are made in the CDG factory. In fact, overall from what I could see, the quality looks superb so I do think these prices are worth it, but for me one piece was enough and I couldn’t even be bothered to buy extra stuff to ‘flip’ on Ebay (although I did filch a commemorative Comme for H&M hanger…anyone wanna buy it?). Verdict: another phenomenal success for H&M.