Hollywood glamour comes to H&M this spring with Conscious Exclusive – a party wear collection made from more sustainable materials. The collection features clothing and accessories for both men and women, and is part of H&M’s Conscious work to offer more sustainable fashion. Materials used in the collection include organic cotton, recycled polyester, recycled polyamide and Tencel /Lyocell.
Rich in detail and eloquent design, the collection is full of dramatic gowns and sharp tailoring for women. For men, think more of a rock and roll red carpet style. A floor-length dusty pink gown is elegant from the front and dramatic from the back, which is entirely open, and is made from 100% recycled polyester. The three-piece suit has been given a feminine twist, with a fitted blazer and high-waisted fitted trousers that zip at the ankle, all made from an organic cotton mix.
There are so many options for living the Hollywood life. An off-white loose kimono has a bohemian air of faded glamour, especially with its trousers that fall right to the floor; a jumpsuit has modern edge with its cut-away back; a demure white dress has rock and roll touch with its sheer sleeves, asymmetric train and bird embroidery; and there are seemingly endless layers of tulle in a corseted dress which feels like it has stepped out of the old world. The collection is completed with accessories, such as an embellished box clutch and elegant minimal heels with the tiniest of ankle straps. All are made from more sustainable materials.
The men’s Conscious Exclusive collection brings real attitude to spring tailoring. A slim-fitted jacket has a classic shape that is turned bold and dramatic by fringing down the back of both sleeves. A collarless white shirt has a bow tie attached, which is elegant when tied, and dandyish when left undone – perfect worn with a black three-piece tuxedo. It’s the details that count, like the old-fashioned button braces on a white pair of trousers that make up one part of a white three-piece suit, or the rose print which lines the inside of a tuxedo jacket. As with the women’s collection, each piece is made from more sustainable materials – part of H&M’s commitment to more sustainable fashion, both today and tomorrow.
We interview Catarina Midby, the visionary designer for H&M’s Conscious collections and Conscious Exclusive, to get the lowdown on how sustainable fashion is achieved.
What inspired the Conscious Exclusive collection?
CM: It’s very much about 30’s style classic movie star inspiration with new details and cut. And new materials, of course. We are thrilled about the amazing fashion fabrics we have been able to develop from organic, recycled and cellulosic fibers. Crepe, organza, chiffon, satin, beautiful mulberry silk/organic cotton blends and more.
A general perception towards sustainable fashion is that it is quite limiting in design in terms of the material used, what is H&M doing to break this stigma?
CM: The only challenge has been to find the right materials, and the timing, as they take longer to source. The quality of these fabrics are the same as conventional fabrics, the main difference is the environmental footprint. Hence, design wise, there is no difference.
As a Conscious Collection designer, what are the main challenges you face when creating a collection?
CM: Always finding the right fashion fabrics with the expression we’re after. Customers come to us for fashion, while sustainability is an added value. Then it takes longer sourcing and producing greener fabrics, which may be a drawback if we’re on a tight schedule.
Will the Conscious Exclusive become a regular part of H&M product ranges?
We never plan really far in advance, but I hope so.
What are your favorite pieces from the Conscious Exclusive collection?
CM: I really love the peach paneled recycled polyester dress, and the white organic cotton mix suit is another favorite. But actually, I love them all!
What’s next for the Conscious Collections?
CM: We have many ideas, and always aim to surprise our customers with new and exciting collections in stores.
The Conscious Exclusive collection will be available in around 140 stores worldwide as well as online from April 4, 2013. For more information, please visit www.hm.com/kw.