Marni for H&M 2012 – Something to be Looking Forward to

Another fashion post and yet another collaboration. On 8 March 2012 H&M will present its new collection jointly with Italian-Swiss high-end designer Marni. This exciting range will include all the staple styles and elements of this truly eclectic designer house. With strong utilitarian shapes, the new men’s and women’s collection will include on-trend block heels and wedges, precious-looking ethnic accessories next to plastic ones, colour blocking as long as big, playful, clashing prints juxtaposition and bold African-inspired prints.

The Marni brand was launched in 1994 by Lugano-based couple Consuelo and Gianni Castiglioni as a side business from Gianni’s fur company. Since then they have created a modern yet classic look that is constantly chic and at the same time cool and have had their collections photographed by many big names, among which Mario Testino.

H&M has previously collaborated with Karl Lagerfeld, Stella McCartney, Comme des Garçons, Jimmy Choo and Lanvin. Their current collaboration with Versace is in shops now and the Marni collection will be sold in 260 stores worldwide and online.

Despite generally feeling wary about H&M designer collaborations, which I often find overpriced and of poor quality if a little overrated, I am sure this new collection is a breath of fresh air and definitely something to be looking forward to.

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The Time I Went to Paris

On 8 October I took a train to Paris. I arrived there just after the capital’s fashion week had ended, which gave me the chance to visit beauties such as the Oh So London exhibition in the high-end department store Le Bon Marché without the hustle and bustle of all the people brought into the city by the event.

The Le Bon Marché exhibition was very well thought-out. It showcased a collection of Bryan Ferry’s albums, a whole section dedicated to Kate Moss and a few collections by British celebrity-come-designers such as Lucy in Disguise (Lily Allen) and Pretty Green (Liam Gallagher). I wasn’t exactly allowed to take pictures (a mysterious plain-clothes security guard told me off as soon as I zoomed into a bunch of Lanvin ties), but I did my best.

 

Walking around Paris you cannot avoid stumbling upon all sorts of wonderful things almost constantly. The best of my visit included a whole pink-and-blue window dedicated to Matthew Williamson’s chocolate, a Russian tea chain shop called Kusmi, a gorgeous Isabel Marant window, the biggest Zadig et Voltaire store ever seen by human eyes and a very elegant tea and candle company called Mariage Frère – Comptoir deThé (the Darjeeling candle is on my Christmas wishlist).

One of the highlights of my trips, however, was a unique and beautiful jewellery shop, which I reached at the end of a long walk from La Frégate, a great upmarket-yet-affordable restaurant on the Rive Gauche, where I had a mouth-watering confit de canard with garlic roasted potatoes…

Going back to the jewellery shop (!), this little boutique is called BRAI exclusive and takes its name from the homonymous jewellery collection created by two of the most inventive jewellery designers I’ve met in a long time. Delphine Pariente started off her career designing bags in 1998 moving to jewellery pretty soon after and hasn’t stopped creating one-of-a-kind pieces of art since. Her co-designer Claire Naa is also extremely creative and is the creator of the origami jewellery. I bought two pink gold little pendants, but it was very hard to choose.

 

Unhappy with the huge (but seemingly not sufficient) amount of cash I had spent until that point, I went vintage shopping. I was lucky there. Shall we talk about how cheap quality vintage is in Paris? I headed to the hip area Le Marais and visited Fripes Star, Free ‘P’ Star (my favourite) and Le Verger du Prince among others. I bought a lovely blue polka dot 1940s dress, a skirt, two pairs of shoes, a jumper and a hat, all way under £20 each.

Oh Paris, I want to come and see you again!