I am a great fan of J.Crew, so as soon as I heard that they were having a flash pop-up store event in London on the 24 and 25 May, I immediately put it in my diary. J.Crew’s highly anticipated opening in the UK in autumn 2013 was made even more exciting by the subtle but nonetheless definite hype of this event, which took place at the Western Transit Shed, an eclectically dressed urban warehouse conversion just a stone’s throw from King’s Cross Station, to sample J.Crew’s new range, take a few snaps and generally be a bit nosey.
On display were a dozen or so key looks from the upcoming Fall/Winter collection. The most prominent new trends were woolly print-on-prints, beautifully intricate gem-filled jewellery, Aztec prints, embroidery on clean-cut heavy-weight blazers, and brocade and geometric patterns. The exquisite wool and cashmere pieces modelled clean and simple lines, and were well complemented by the busy Central American prints. For men, there were work boots, puff coats and furry hoodies.
The only pieces actually available for sale were their classic cashmeres – in a small selection of colours. They also provided personalised monogramming, which won’t be available on the UK website, and customised, handmade collars to be worn on t-shirts. Sadly, they had run out of my size in the navy cashmere, but I’ll make sure to buy it online and perhaps try my luck and have it monogrammed at the Regent Street shop once it opens in the autumn.
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.
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.