The bespoke collection that we’ve all been waiting for is undeniably Anna Dello Russo’s H&M collaboration, a celebration of fashion and fun that turns every day into a fashionable one. Glistening in gold and vibrant hues of turquoise and orange, this sensational range expresses ADR’s love for ornament, her taste for excess and amusement.
“Accessories are vital,” says the legendary fashion icon. “Not only do they allow you to play with fashion however you like, marking your outfits with a personal touch, they are also an essential tool to give new life to what you already have in your wardrobe. Wear a necklace, a bracelet and earrings, hold a clutch and top it all off with a hat, and everything becomes new. Accessories are like vitamins to fashion: you should use them liberally as such.”
“There is something feisty and over the top in this collection,” adds Margareta van den Bosh, Creative Advisor, H&M. “Our customers will find it incredibly exciting and extravagant, with a precious vintage feel. Mostly gold, it is truly spectacular: these pieces will give a new life to everyone’s wardrobe. The idea is to have luxury that you can play with, at an affordable price”.
The collection features jewelry, sunglasses, shoes and bags. However, its starting point is a suitcase: a turquoise trolley with gilt motifs that will keep you traveling in style. “I wanted to recreate the excitement of the fashion week’s tour, when you enter a dreamy fashion bubble that is almost like a parallel reality. I tried to capture that sense of freedom, joy and excitement. Besides, when we travel we always want to bring our special pieces with us. I like the idea of a trolley that can contain the whole collection and is complete with a crown-shaped tag and an umbrella: airports will be less grey and impersonal if you bring such a token of travel-ware with you. It’s like a dash of fairy tale magic, or Alice’s white rabbit as a door to a new dimension,” says Anna.
The jewelry range itself is a the ultimate statement range; exuberantly Mediterranean in both ornate shapes and shiny colours, slightly surreal thanks to the snakes and crocodiles that coil around neck and wrists, it features gilded chains swarming with pendants, stone earrings with an antique feel and decorative wristbands with the preciousness of real jewels. The same ornamental opulence carries on in the classy clutches: Cucciolina, Anna’s fashionable dog, makes a cameo appearance in the closure of the turquoise one. For the needs of any aspiring front-row fashionista there are theatrical sunglasses, all gilt frames, chains and animal appliqué, and shoes sporting a trademark stiletto heel, from sandal to thigh-high dominatrix boots. A show-stopping feather hat completes the offer.
This festive effort is an ode to fashion as a means to reinvent daily life; the fashion editor lives and breathes fashion as part of her daily routine. “My message is: use accessories like a personal touch, as an amusing way to revitalize your life and wardrobe: you will turn an ordinary day into a sensational fashion weekday,” says Anna.
The project also has more personal implications. “Accepting this challenge has allowed me to give my personal and deeply felt contribution to the rebirth of Japan, a country I am strongly bonded with,” she concludes.
While her notes about the collection are editorially thrilling, we couldn’t get enough of the Dello Russo charm, and eagerly asked Anna more questions about the exciting collaboration:
How did the idea of collaborating with H&M come about?
It all started with a call from them. H&M has always been a forward-thinking company: they have a way to foresee the future, which is incredible. They have been the first to acknowledge the importance of the web in the contemporary fashion scenario. The rise of the fashion blogs and the whole phenomenon of street style photography created a new reality that is hard to be missed. Today, the catwalk and the streets are the parallel arenas where ‘fashion action’ happens: there is a mutual dialogue, which is very inspiring. I am happy they choose me for this challenging collaboration. After that call, we started working on the collection. I immediately knew I wanted to focus on accessories: because I am not a designer, and because as a stylist I know accessories are essential to get the look.
You’ve worked with the world’s best designers throughout your fashion career, how was your experience in collaborating with H&M?
It was fantastic. They are very open and put the guest designer at the center, trying to satisfy all requests. The workflow has been very smooth, and I am very happy with the results: H&M created something that is very precious and luxurious to the touch yet comes at a friendly price.
What was your favorite part throughout this collaboration?
I enjoyed every part of it. Selecting pieces was something familiar for me, as I am a stylist. Seeing the pieces come alive, instead, was something almost magical: you imagine something, and it turns into something real.
What should customers expect to see in the full collection?
The collection is onomatopoeic: every piece is like an exclamation mark. Everything is what it is, on a bigger scale: a big necklace, big earrings, bigger bracelets, and the iconic jewel-like clutch. Jewelry is the core of the line, but there is also front-row high-heel shoes, a feathered hat, clutches. It is made of pieces that are precious and joyous; something you want to touch and love.
What are the your favorite items from the collection?
Many of them: the feathered hat, the snake bracelet, and the high-heel sandals. Every piece in the collection is iconic, but the center of it is the turquoise trolley with golden motifs. It is like a magic shrine: it can contain everything, so that you can have your special pieces with you when you travel.
How do you perceive the fashion industry in the Middle East?
I love the sense of decoration of Middle Eastern women. In a way, it is very close to my Mediterranean sensibility.
Will we someday see an independent Anna Dello Russo collection?
I don’t think so: I have too much respect for designers to think about filling their shoes. I am an editor, and enjoy my role: I make choices. The H&M collaboration is the result of careful editing, in fact. I can’t predict my future, and I love change more than anything else, but I don’t see myself as a designer.
The Anna Dello Russo accessories range for H&M will be available from October 4, 2012, at the peak of the global fashion weeks tour, in around 140 H&M stores worldwide and online. For more information, please visit hm.com/kw.