All images from Vogue UK.
Every year, when H&M reveals its groundbreaking designer collaboration which fuels a media frenzy, I resign myself to the idea that I can admire the clothes, but never actually own them. While I covet the gorgeous creations on an annual basis, I am not adventurous enough – as thousands of other fashionistas across the world (read this and this) – to start lining up outside H&M at 3 AM, and swarm into the store at the crack of dawn. With school in the way too, it was impossible for me to head to the beautiful Orchard outlet and get a chance to finally own Isabel Marant originals this year. Nonetheless, it is never too late to share my love for the collection, and explore the aesthetics of Marant's "LA-cool" looks. In the lookbook photographs above, which features models that emulate the Marant vibe in every possible way, certain continuities are clear. Leather pants, subdued but dizzying tribal prints, and fringe-adorned boots – accessories and details which shine through amongst the rest. The look on the farthest right displays a very prairie-chic vibe, with feminine frills and a subtle sheer tone to the fabric. This look could be seen as one of the few exceptions, with the rest embodying the eclectic flavor of the city of Los Angeles, which Marant cites as her greatest inspiration.
"I love the LA cool way of life—it’s more laid back. I'm an American sportswear lover, and I’ve always been inspired by the skateboard, surf, and baseball apparel," Marant told Who What Wear. In her collection for H&M, the influence of sportswear is detectable, but cultural influences seem to take prevalence. An Aztec-esque jacket, worn in the lookbook photographs above, is adorned with a fabulous array of warm-toned jewels, while a simple zig-zag pattern, beautifully blended into a kaleidoscopic wonder, was repeatedly shown in the collection. Above, on the far left, a stunning tailored jacket, with touches of silk, is an example of both French design and a slightly androgynous look. Colors used sparked visuals of either desert landscapes or LA streets, with blazing tones of red, solemn, minimalistic hues, and no-nonsense shades of burgundy and chocolate-brown. Leather was notably incorporated through pants and trousers, though Marant herself states that "they aren't easy" to style. For the daring shopper, leather pants are ideal for fall and winter, with Marant's embellished creations. In an interview with FASHION Magazine, Marant explained that America to her means freedom, and this very idea is expressed in her H&M collaboration and her own label. French chic is constantly in sync with a facile sense of offhandedness, which is a pretty remarkable combination.
The accessories of the collection sparked a more high-fashion vibe, but Marant's LA-inspiration did not waver. Even with gold-covered stilettos, a hint of grunge is visible in the subtle 'tarnished' application. Leather boots with fringe are further imitations of American style, with a certain cowgirl appeal, as described by American Vogue. Jewelry is simple, silver and versatile, with delicate earrings and large cuffs. Everything about the collection is what Marant is all about, and kudos to her for keeping her aesthetics in mind while also designing for a high-street, affordable label. The collection, with its many themes and connotations, is exactly what the younger generation of fashion yearns for: clothes that are effortless but powerful.