Thursday, November 14, 2013

Isabel Marant pour H&M Launch and Review

Isabel Marant x H&M jacket with beaded embroidery, linen tee from the kids line and fringe suede and leather boots
I think I'm officially retired from queuing up for these collaborations. Of course I say that now, but we'll see who the guest designer next year (Marc Jacobs please? Maybe he has some extra time now that he's left Louis Vuitton). I haven't waited in line since Lanvin x H&M, but since pretty much all I wear these days is Isabel Marant, I just couldn't miss it. The ad campaign, featuring some of my favorite models and familiar faces (incl Daria Werbowy, Devon Aoki, Alek Wek, Milla Jovovich) was gorgeous and quintessentially Marant with amazing clothes. It didn't bother me that I already own (and paid more for) some mainline and Etoile Isabel Marant "originals" that may have served as inspiration for this collab (ie Ivo cords in burgundy with zips, morrocan printed Itzel pants, the Obira wool cardigan, quilted jackets, linen and feather printed tops, comfy pants; there were so many pieces I still loved; hard part was editing down my list. In the end the early rising was worth it, I picked up most of what I wanted from the Isabel Marant x H&M collaboration and several items for friends, thanks to my fellow line members, an understanding husband and grandmother (babysitter). I arrived at 4:00am at Beverly Center and was number 43 in line, the 3rd person in the second group. which was perfect. The wait wasn't bad, got the time to read half a book, watch the sunrise, listen to my ipod, things I never do with a busy toddler... We were let into the mall around 7am and H&M doors opened at 8am and I grabbed a couple of items from kids and mens for some people I met in line that were in the first group who helped me get the fringe boots, and then waited for my turn for the womens area to open at 8:20am. They replenished everything I had my eye on and I was near the front of the line so I could see where to go first. I immediately grabbed the black and white wool looped cardigan / sweater coat and beaded jacket, followed by the hooded wool sweater coat and some other items for friends and was done fairly quickly. I looked at some of the dresses and separates, but they weren't of as much interest, I really thought the outerwear were the most unique pieces. After trying some things on and chatting with friends I met in line, I was on my way home around 9:30. Not too painful! It's actually worth the lack of sleep to line up early and shop first and get what you want in the right sizes as opposed to stand around and watch other people shop and all the items disappear while waiting for your timeslot which I experienced with Lanvin x H&M. The only way I got so many things from previous designer collaborations was by stalking the stores for returns, something which I do not have time for these days with little k.
Isabel Marant x H&M black and white looped wool cardigan and fringe boots
Isabel Marant x H&M hooded wool-blend cardigan and fringe boots
Sizing / Fit / Quality: Size wise, the wool sweater cardigans are huge, particularly the black and white (both are the XS), the sleeves go way past my hands and the fit is baggy all over, but I like the oversized look. They are really cozy and comfortable. Honestly, I like the H&M Isabel Marant sweater coats more than my Etoile Isabel Marant Obira cardigan sweater coat, they aren't itchy at all! The XS fit of the H&M versions is comparable to an Etoile Isabel Marant size 36, perhaps a little bigger. I know so many wool sweater coats may be a bit overkill for LA (particularly this 80 degree sweltering heat). The embroidered jacket runs a little small, particularly around the sleeves and underarm area, since it's a little stiff because of the thickness. I'm wearing my usual 4 in the jacket. It's thicker and stiffer than my Etoile Isabel Marant Sumac jacket but a pretty similar cut. I also have the black lace top and find that the lace top also runs a little tight in the arms. I was only able to grab a size 6, and it is pretty fitted in the arms though loose in the body. Not sure if I will keep it because I think a size 4 would still fit better. The linen tee is a size 12-14 kids and really similar to the Etoile Isabel Marant linen tees that I've seen in store, cut and feel. Shoes are regular H&M sizing (H&M sizing is weird), I am normally US 7 / EU 37 and got the 37/6 in the fringe boots. I am a size 37 in my two pairs of Isabel Marant Dicker Boots (one suede, one leather) and Betty Sneakers. I love these fringe suede and leather boots; I've been wanting a pair of Isabel Marant Monys forever and almost settled for a pair of Isabel Marant Sailor cone heel canvas fringe boots a few seasons ago (that I returned) which were almost twice the price on sale at Barneys. They aren't as comfortable as the Dicker or Betty shoes that I wear practically everyday, but similar to the Sailore boots that I've tried. Definitely need some practice walking in them and will put some rubber grips on the bottom.

Quality wise, I'm impressed, particularly for the sweaters and boots. Then again, all of the H&M designer collaboration pieces that I've bought have been nice quality. The black and white looped cardigan is 100% wool and the hooded sweater coat is mostly wool and alpaca with 13% acrylic (my Etoile Obira cardigan is also wool and alpaca with 25% acrylic). Boots are real leather and suede.  The sweaters snag easily because of the loose knits, there is a small scuff on the leather of the boots and a bit of the beading has fallen off of the embroidered jacket, so the pieces are a bit delicate. I picked them up straight off the rack, so I would be wary when looking at returned pieces. As for the other pieces in the collection that I tried on, the silver jacquard pieces are too shiny for my taste, the chiffon pieces didn't really fit / lie well (random puckers and wrinkles) and the silk gold pieces were a little flimsy.  I like but don't love those pieces, and would purchase them on sale but not at full price. As for what I love the most, it is a toss up between the two wool cardigan / sweater coats. The shape and style of the black and white looped cardigan is amazing, but I also really fell in love with the hooded coat after trying it on and I know it's the piece I wear wear the most. I love Alek Wek, but the hooded cardigan didn't jump out to me in her ads for the collection and I think the coat looks a lot better in real life. As for what is going back, the only pieces that I'm iffy on keeping are the quilted jacket since its expensive and I already have an Isabel Marant quilted jacket as well as the lace top which is a bit big. We'll see...
Some detail shots:

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