After what can only be described as a PR nightmare for H&M, which saw musical collaborators The Weeknd and G-Eazy sever ties with the brand in response to a controversial childrens’ hoodie, the Swedish fashion giant is returning to the runway to reclaim its place in the fashion realm with its latest H&M Studio line. Inspired by Japanese design and debuting during Paris Fashion Week at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs on February 28, the collection, thankfully, doesn’t appear to contain any cultural no-nos this time.
Releasing its lookbook ahead of the PFW show, featuring models Saskia de Brauw, Clement Chabernaud and Shanelle Nyasiase, the collection’s muses of Japanese minimalism and urbanism culminates in a merger of clean, defined silhouettes and relaxed, laidback cuts. Channeling the duality of Japan’s sprawling metropolises and longing for nature, workwear and tailored classics make their way into the casual space, bringing abstraction to the forefront.
Highlights for women including a black full-length coat with tie belt; abstract black-and-white twill zip-up midi dress with kimono-like sleeves and matching flared trousers; white jacquard midi-dress with hairy abstract detailing; and white cotton long-sleeve jumper with multicoloured abstract shapes, cropped at the waist and contrasted by oversized sleeves.
For men, silhouettes remain classic and largely unadulterated, with a focus on texture and darker colours when compared to the women’s selections. Where items like the black cotton long-sleeve jumper with abstract detailing complement and contrast similar items for women, others appear more inspired by the land of the rising sun. An off-white distressed camo jacquard trucker jacket emulates traditional Japanese washi paper, while a forest green cotton double-breasted blazer and matching trousers channel the dark shades of Japanese forests.
Continuing its ‘see now, buy now’ modus operandi following its show at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, H&M will also be sponsoring a major exhibition on Japan at the museum later in the year, in celebration of France and Japan’s historical cultural exchange.
Available from March 1, 2018 at H&M Orchard Building and online at hm.com.