Earlier this week the official lookbook from the hotly-anticipated Alexander Wang x H&M collection was released, followed by a exclusive catwalk show. The live-streamed event, held on October 16th in New York City, was attended by the fashion and entertainment industry’s elite including Kate Mara, David Theroux and British Vogue Acting Editor, Lucy Hutchings.
The show was admittedly spectacular; a wonderful display of fashion Olympics, including model-athletes throwing themselves off of blocks only to bounce back and walk up the walls. The runway show featured model heavyweights such as Karlie Kloss and Tyson Beckford, walking to the beat of the techno drum around a specially constructed track course. The models resembled a robotic army descending onto the Washington Heights venue, marching in synchronicity with a steely, authoritative determination.
Sadly, for me, this is where the excitement ended. As cleverly conceptual and excellently produced as the show was, I feel that the clothes themselves are highly lacking. Almost all of the pieces are sportswear (or at least, sportswear inspired) and whilst this is to be expected from the original championer of sportswear himself, I can’t say I’ll be rushing out to buy any of it. The sheer unwearability of it all is overwhelming when you see the models, fully clad in WangxH&M, looking like menacing next-century militia. This is not a look that many could pull off. I’m disappointed in the end product of so many months of anticipation, as is my friend and fellow fashion student, Elsa; “I was expecting it to be mainly basics, but it turns out to be all sportswear. As soon as I saw it I thought ‘this isn’t wearable’ and I don’t really see anyone being able to wear it for day or for night.”
In fact hardly any of the fashionable young adults I’ve spoken to – this collections target audience – seems to like the collaborations offerings. As a concept for a fashion editorial its fantastic; as an outfit for real life situations, not so much. It will be interesting to see how the collection sells. Whilst H&M’s most recent designer collab (with Isabel Marant) sold out instantly, their previous partnership with Maison Martin Margiela saw many pieces remaining in the Sale section, unshifted even by Christmas. History may repeat itself and this is one high street/designer collaboration I think I’ll let pass me by.
Images via the internet, H&M/Alexander Wang