STYLE: Working the high/low

Fierce.
Fierce. // Creative Commons

Isabel Marant’s collection with H&M collection was released November 14th, finishing off a year that saw several similar high/low collaborations — that is, matching high-fashion designers with mass retail labels. In the wake of collections such as Michael Bastian x Uniqlo’s polo capsule, Marant pour H&M works to establish itself as one of the premier collaborative releases this year.

This new collection follows the somewhat recent, but rather popular, high/low trend. In theory, these collaborations work to offer fashion forward clothing without the exclusivity it is often accompanied by. Yet in the past, many of these collections have appeared rather hurriedly done — a designer’s side-project to get his name out to a wider audience. While not necessarily bad by any means, many of these collections have had the designer’s name adding more to it than the designs themselves.

Fortunately, Marant’s x H&M largely avoids this common pitfall.

While many designers have attempted to imitate her, Marant reminds the world that she is still the best at that Parisian nonchalant chic look that she is so well known for. From heavily textured sweaters and bright prints to elegant, simple staples, the collection captures snapshots from Marant’s designer history in a wholesome, albeit slightly eclectic, way.

And to add to the novelty of the collection, Marant pour H&M marks the designer’s first foray into menswear  — a rather natural progression for someone who has often recognized the influence of menswear on her own style. This transition seems effortless, as Marant organically progresses into menswear from her women’s collection. She carries the motifs found in the women’s collection — a southwestern meets casual-cool kind of aesthetic — into the men’s collection seamlessly. While not a standalone collection, the men’s collection is meticulously put together and proves to be just as successful as the women’s collection in its own unique way.

As a whole, this collection adds to the high/low fashion conversation in a constructive way. The bolder aspects of the pieces in this collection still allow for the small details to shine through, creating a balance with depth and levels. Isabel Marant pour H&M refuses to settle, and instead pushes the boundaries of what a high/low collaboration can do, ultimately standing out from similar collections released in the past.

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