By now, pics of the long-awaited Martin Margiela collection for H&M have leaked all over the interwebs. And the results of the collaboration look more like an exhibit at SFMOMA than the newest launch for the Swedish retailer. The collection is the most contemporary release from H&M to date—each garment paying homage to a specific avant-garde creation Margiela has brought to the runways over the course of the fashion house's 23-year history. Comprised of 62 items for women and 42 items for men, each piece is labeled with the specific season from which it originated.
For all die-hard fashionistas who can't yet afford couture, these one-of-a-kind pieces are yours for the taking at a fraction of the price. That’s right—the infamous duvet coat with removable cover (cira 2000) that originally cost thousands can now be yours for $349. Some of the most affordable items are witty accessories for women ($12.95 for a hair lock necklace, $59.95 for an extra large candy wrapper clutch) and exaggerated accouterments for men ($49.95 for an extended belt, $199 for an oversized fanny back).
The house treats each piece as an artful creation, operating outside of the conventional fashion framework. Unique aesthetics include the deconstruction of traditional patterns into modified shapes and reinvented proportions. Brand signatures are seen throughout the H&M collection: a men’s leather jacket made entirely out of belts ($399), a fusion of a long evening dress and knee length shift for women ($199), and a ladies handbag made out of a glove (49.95).
While Maison Martin Margiela may not be the most publically recognized brand, the ultra-creative fashion house has garnered a cult following sure to be a hit with SF creative types and fashion fanatics alike. While there is no word yet whether stores will be opening early for the collection’s debut on November 15, expect a scene similar to the Versace collaboration frenzy. Get there early to grab a spot in line, or pitch a tent and spend the night on Powell Street. The collection is that good.