Into the Garden with H&M

Like a veteran model gliding across the runways of labels all around the globe, H&M is no stranger to collaborations. In fact, the Swedish fast fashion giant has worked with a whole plethora of personalities in the fashion industry, from well-known individual designers (Karl Lagerfeld x H&M, anyone?) and revolutionary labels alike.

Extending its reach beyond the distant lands of Sweden, H&M finds itself turning to the young, vibrant city of London for its 2017 collaboration. As Lynette Nylander of i-D says, “London has this incredible energy that courses through its veins.” This year, the Swedish retail giant seeks to collaborate with a sole English designer (instead of an entire label like last year). Joining the glorious ranks of its prestigious list of renowned past collaborators is English fashion designer Erdem Moralioglu, together with his eponymous label.

Adding to this unique concoction is the wonderful storytelling by Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann. Having watched his beautiful reinterpretation of the Shakespearean classic Romeo & Juliet three years ago, I remember being enthralled by the vibrancy and postmodern aesthetic of the film. Now, I am so incredibly excited to watch his mini movie to be released together with the collection, which drops on 2nd November 2017. Despite its seemingly distant release date from now, a short teaser trailer has been released, depicting a series of models clad in airy floral dresses, prancing gaily about in a picturesque, tranquil garden.

Florals and the natural world prove to be a timeless source of inspiration for Moralioglu, with flowers and rabbits appearing as recurring motifs in Erdem’s Resort ’18 collection (shown below). While all of his collections have been a beautiful representation of femininity in a contemporary age, this collaboration with H&M will present Moralioglu’s first-ever menswear collection.

Is it just me, or does it seem that H&M is turning towards partnering with youthful, livelier labels with clothes splashed with bursts of bold, radiant hues and notions of whimsicality? Will this year’s collaboration simply be a sophisticated, elevated derivative of last year’s wildly successful partnership with Kenzo? Or does it portray a fresh insight into the brand’s creative direction and shifting target market? We can only wonder. However, one thing is certain: In this tumultuous and divisive period that Londoners are experiencing, this collaboration serves as an apt reminder that fashion is always about looking beyond the present, giving the voice to the less heard (and known), and viewing the future through a lens of optimism and opportunities.

The collection, together with the campaign film, will be released in selected stores globally and online on 2 November 2017.