Wednesday, 24 November 2010

H&M x Lanvin: My experiences and thoughts

many thanks to all those who emailed/left me really heart-warming messages during the past 2 weeks. a lot of things i wanted to say/reflect upon, but maybe in another post. i take it as a rite of passage, that everyone at some point will have a little stay at the hospital, have a little fix here and there. i am recovering well, getting stronger by the day. me-time works wonders.

anyway, under doctor's orders to be housebound, the most exciting thing for me is perhaps waking up at 7am on this tuesday morning and joining the nation in grinding h&m's website to a halt. i was kind of excited that the h&m x lanvin collection was being made available online, but not naive enough to think the site wouldn't crash.

so from 7am, the only thing happening for me is sasha pivovarova grinning back at me, urging me to keep trying. i was hitting the "refresh" button furiously.

come 7:47am, oh some movement. the background changed, this time to the h&m x lanvin ladies, giving me sympathetic looks. by then i was really bored, momentarily went back to bed only to wake up half an hour later to keep refreshing the site.

perhaps enough of my twitter spam, @queenyoung threw me a lifeline. she was queuing up for the womenswear at oxford street, but her allocated time slot was 11:25am. and while waiting, she offered to help me pick up the pieces i wanted from the menswear collection. so a phone call later, everything i wanted was bagged!

so despite the online server crashing, the nice samaritan that is @queenyoung even delivered the big bagful of stuff to me. she being a complete stranger who happened to be my blog reader, trusting enough to pay for all that stuff and even meeting me near my place. i was thankful and surprised, and glad she managed to pick up all the pieces that she wanted from h&m x lanvin womenswear.

so what's my thoughts on the collection?

the packaging was a big plus. the fanciful carrier bags, the whimsical hangers to the nice coat/jacket covers. i would give packaging full marks.

which are the pieces i bought?

i bought 5 pieces in total: the white bib shirt, the navy dinner/tux jacket, the long wool navy coat, the navy trousers and the black/white scarf. the sizing was great, everything fitted really nicely.

however, and it's a big however, my first instinct was correct. if this collection wasn't marketed as such, would i still be crazy about it? the long wool coat was nice, but it was nothing like the lanvin coats i saw at harvey nichols. in fact i felt very "h&m", i didn't feel anything lanvin about it. yes at £149 i should have realistic expectations, but if it wasn't marketed as such i really do not think it would have flown off the shelves. i was sucked into this huge marketing bubble.

that aside, individually the pieces do have longevity. nice coat, it will be my staple coat to work from now, alongside my other favourite: the h&m x viktor & rolf black peacoat. i paid £330 for 5 pieces which i think is pretty reasonable. a little retail therapy to help my speedy recovery, any excuse.

the morning session refreshing my screens was really boring and unnecessary. h&m should have foreseen that would happen, and i really urge them to have separate servers for menswear, there was no time limit and colored bands imposed for menswear for their brick and mortar shops anyway. i probably would have a frustrated morning, not because i missed out but because i couldn't get in for a look-see.

it's probably too easy for me to brush aside the designers' efforts, but it's a collection i could do without, and i say that with a tinge of sadness because h&m autumn collaborations are something i look forward to all year. but @queenyoung's actions made me cherish the pieces more so now, as there's a nice story behind it.

so quite a mixed bag of experiences and emotions in one day, but i am nonetheless happy with the pieces i got. happy, that i am getting better, and things are slowly getting back to normal.

happy thoughts.



  1. joe is back, and im the first one to leave comments, swoon. get well.

  2. what can I say? This collaboration is very successful!

  3. That was very sweet of queenyoung, good things can come out of the internets. awww
    I wish you a speedy recovery! :)

  4. wow, there really are people with good hearts still. i agree with you on that marketing bubble. i found the collection lacking that awe quality and being quite unoriginal. sad sad. anyway, get well soon! :D

  5. I miss your posts and hope you get well soon:) At least you got everything you wanted from the collection :)

  6. Good to have you back. Those weeks were really boring whitout your posts :)
    And a very good post to start with.
    I also think that the collection aint that special but i really love the shoes and the leo-tshirt just had to get them ;)

  7. Envy.... well, congrats for the pieces u got & very glad to see u back n getting better of ur health :)

  8. A collaboration too far. It has really compromised Lanvin's brand.

  9. oh. the waiting was really frustrating! But finally got everything i wanted.. cant wait to see the clothes in real.
    adore your blog! get well!


  10. We followed you, live twitting.
    It is a real luck that queenyoung found all she wanted.
    We have just launched a themed giveaway on our blog
    "Lanvin ♡ H&M bow ties"
    In case you couldn't get them.
    We wish you a quick recovery too!

  11. totally agree with having a separate menswear server. I was in Berlin yesterday and bought my pieces from a separate menswear H&M shop - queue and bands outside the womenswear shop, I walked straight in the menswear...

  12. thank God!Joe - you are well again. My wife was worried sick you being hospitalized. She suffers from a chronic 'Joe-fix' whilst you weren't blogging. Anyway, as usual a great welcome-back post. Stay healthy and virtuous as always. Welcome back!!

  13. I bought the mens trousers online from the H&M website, and some dresses and other items from womenswear for a friend. When I tried the website on safari, I constantly got the 'We're busy sign' but when I went on the site on Firefox where I was still logged in (I made an account with H&M at about 6:55am) - it worked perfectly, as if normal and I managed to get everything I needed. I guess with some people who were refreshing, they were refreshing the URL to the 'We're busy' page, instead of going to the URL, but I'm not sure what happened with other people... but yes, a separate mens server would make more sense, or even less advertising but having the option to pre-order in advance

  14. yay! you're back. i'm so happy. i hope you're in excellent shape.

  15. Im glad youre on the mend Joe. Ive certainly missed my 00o00 fix!

    As for the H&M x Lanvin collection...well i guess the saying "you get what you pay for" really does apply.
    The quality is ok but nothing special. I agree that the fit was on point and so once on the clothes do look good.

    I picked up the coat, navy trousers and blue shirt.
    I did pick up the bib shirt but one of the buttons fell off so I thought I wouldnt risk it.

    Compared to my Lanvin pieces....well there really is no comparison.

    Good to have you back.

  16. God I would have gone nuts trying to buy online, thank god I didn't. Glad you got a few bits and more importantly that you're on the mend. onwards and upwards!

  17. Today I had to go for fabric shopping and pop in one H&M to check if they got the sunglasses. They didn't, but they got few pieces from both mens/womens collections. As I expected the fabrics was complete rubbish, I was hoping that they look cheap only on the pictures I've seen before on internet, but sadly no. The marketing was amazing, thou. I'm really happy I don't fall for it.

    PS: Get better soon =)


  18. Did it surprise anyone else that they didn't include any sneakers in the collection as Lanvin are so well known for?

    I wasn't sure how to play this release, but luckily I work on Regent St and after deciding not to line up at midnight the night before and instead going into the Oxford Circus store after 10am I was completely gobsmacked to see the blazer I wanted in plenty of sizes as well as the black shoes too!

    Ended up with the navy trousers, navy tuxedo blazer, navy checked blazer and the black shoes. Went in again after 5pm on the Regent St store and still got to pick up the brown shoes and the navy cap. Like Joe mentioned the packaging was top notch and I was lucky enough to get one of the last suit dust bags from the Oxford St store. I think I am a bit of a victim of the hype surrounding the Lanvin brand and designs attached with a H&M pricepoint, but what the hey, never any harm in adding another suit and shoes to the collection!

    I wonder who the next designer collab wil be?

  19. Great to have you back, Joe!

    Can't say I was all that impressed myself. I'm ruthless when it comes to making purchases (mostly because of my budget) so I reckon I've become fairly resistant to marketing ploys.

    I knew this collab. spelled 'mediocre' from the start. I mean the whole point of Lanvin is its exclusivity, its use of luxurious fabric etc. That can't possibly be replicated at high-street pricepoints.

    That said, I was VERY tempted by the midnight blue dinner jacket with black contrast lapel. You made good choices!


  20. lanvin or not,near every single item looked fucken cheap.

    the frills and harsh cuts with threads poking out on a lot of the dresses,their gaudy,flat colors and fur pieces that seemed stolen then refashioned by a homeless man.

    and the menswear,suits and coats they may be,but they look like stuff you'd buy for your first son who you want to be dressed well,but not spend too much money on because he doesn't know the value of premium brands or knows how to differentiate target from prada.

    cheap cheap cheap looking.

  21. Hello. Can anyone tell me if how the dinner jacket fits? Is it pretty true to size?

  22. brandonhf: the dinner jacket fits true to size, fits well i would say. go get it!


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