Clément Chabernaud looking mighty fine in this ad. Up-close images of him taken by yours truly here.
The public release for the French designer collaboration with the Swedish clothing giant will only be on the November 14th, but naturally the images have leaked out prematurely (always a good way to build up hype and anticipation). The recent party in Paris is nothing but 'celebrating the collection' with all celebrities and famous models imaginable attending. It felt like a full-on excessiveness of the eighties.
Isabel Marant - whose creations for women has been celebrated for its quintessential Parisian chic elements - has created a collection for men for the first time through this project. The trademark nonchalance and rock n' roll coolness is apparent. But to me there's no denying that the men's collection looks overly simplified - if I'd like an oversized grey t-shirt maybe something from T by Alexander Wang can be a good mid-range option (and perhaps has similar price point); and for the frugal-minded shopper there's always the choice of a discounted Uniqlo tee (a personal shopping destination when my hand trembles to purchase something new, and not necessarily expensive).
I love most of the knitwear but of course, who would wear it in the searing heat and strangulating humidity of Kuala Lumpur? Don't tell me inside air-conditioned buildings or cinemas. And not to mention the leather biker pants: they would look beautiful on tall, lithe men of KL (and women, who just love the I-stole-this-from-my-boyfriend look), but otherwise, if worn by ordinary people, it'll simply be shiny leathery mess à la Sub Zero Jeans circa 2002 (when I say 'ordinary' I do expect people pointing finger at me).
But of course, who am I to dictate customer's preferences? The ladies collection look good honestly, and to see things positively, Isabel Marant pour H&M collection for men is an affordable version of current products of Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane. Unlike the previous MMM x HM collection, I'd be sitting quietly at home and watch the shopping spectacle on social media. Just enjoy bee-lining, if there is any, outside Lot 10 or Avenue K (the brand spanking new addition to the already mushrooming H&M stores around Kuala Lumpur) and shop, till you drop!
P/S: If there's nary a tall, lithe man in sight in KL who are willing to purchase them crotch-hugging biker pants, I'd wait come sales period to grab them half-priced, and snip the hems to match my height...
Words by Hafidzudin Zainal
images via Selectism.com, Vogue.com