Jul 5, 2013

H&M Autumn Collection 2013

I was honored to be invited by the H&M Malaysia team to the recent press preview of their Autumn collection 2013. Held in the majestic Tudor Revival architure style hotel Carcosa Seri Negara the clothes presented are divided into men's and women's sections. 

After a short mingling around session the guests (who range from the mainstream media - I spotted NTV7 crew and staff from a local fashion publication - to the more independently based blogs like Tongue in Chic with their editor Claudia Low present, plus the artistic Nini Marini in attendance as well, among others) were introduced to a line-up of male and female models parading the latest H&M offerings.

If you remember, recently H&M held their first runway show in eight years in Muse√© Rodin during last Paris Fashion Week. Select womenswear looks were reproduced for the press preview, from the styling and the clothes - a move that I suspect used to suggest the best possible pairings of the items from H&M. The press information stated that modern drama is at the heart of the women's collection, mixing tailoring with glamor to create contrasts full of a tomboy spirit. It was rightfully so when looking at the pieces donned by the models: all the pieces look streamlined, mannish (but in a good way), chic and not out of place at all.

"I'm so excited by the H&M Autumn collection, which makes a real statement about the fun you can have with fashion. It's got all the key pieces for this autumn, made to be mixed together to become your own" 
 Ann-Sofie Johannson, H&M Head of Design.

***Disclaimer: the head shot of the models were forbidden due to some sort of model agency interest, so I had to crop the heads off. Please excuse the rather peculiar headless images. After all, the sole focus is the clothes isn't it?***

I like the backless sequined number - an understatedly glamorous element in this collection

Detail-rich pieces like the embroidered cropped jacket and vest is also part of the collection.

Meanwhile a more masculine look is present in the form of the cape. The styling of the individual pieces including the knee-high boots goes well together.

The fringed shoulder piece is also a standout in this collection. I foresee the versatility of this piece thanks to its 'detachable' nature.

Boxy silhouette like the one above, together with brass buttons lends a military feel to the season's offerings.

The accessories section vary from the velvety handbag with bold detailing with matching pointy shoes to the python-effect shoes and bag (my personal fav pieces). Faux fur and the bling element is also present in the forms of jewelries.

Menswear, on the other hand, offer contrasting shapes and a new kind of tailoring - the silhouette is dramatic and long, or neat and sharp, while there are shorter jackets for that cropped look; dress pants wearable even for casualwear; and subtly printed trousers with a certain tribal feel. Accessories play a key role in this collection as well - printed tie and handkerchiefs and the trendy yet affordable footwear. And of course knitwear is synonymous with autumn/winter - despite its questionable wearability in our local weather - the knits have innovations in rib, twisted yarn, cable-stitch and even hairy sweaters. (Don't we all love a bit of chunky knit action even in the sweltering tropical heat? The air-con remote can never be more convenient for the multiple-layer lovers like me) 

" This collection brings together different elements of masculine dressing to create a unified wardrobe for this autumn. Whatever the look, this autumn is going to have a great sense of occasion,"
Andreas Löwenstam, head menswear designer.

This double-breasted military jacket with olive green contrast sleeves looks like the updated version of past season's ubiquitous black version which are quite popular on the streets.

An anorak/parka is designed with versatility in mind with its detachable lining

  I expect the items with Jack Russell Terrier dog print on them will be received very well by the canine aficionados or simply print lovers.

 Ethnic-inspired prints, found on pieces like trousers and jackets add the much awaited sprucing up in a man's autumn/winter wardrobe.

 Once again versatility is applied, evident in this bomber jacket which has quilted detail on one surface and geometric print on another.

As for accessories the selections are pretty basic and commercial looking - I suppose to balance out the rather experimental clothes in the collection.

 Besides the collection I was also interested in the venue itself. Despite the dim lighting for a press preview location (which is quite a challenge for the amateur photographer me - I was strugglingly adjusting my ISO and picture modes), I like the place for its timeless quality. After the preview a photo op was in order and naturally I was admiring the ornaments and classical grandeur of Carcosa Seri Negara's interior and its surrounding…

Words by Hafidzudin Zainal
Images by Hafidzudin Zainal. Lookbook images from H&M

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