Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Madonna for H&M

First of all, you can view the collection here: M By Madonna, thanks to the fabulous nitro:licious.

H&M is known for their collaborations, and although they’ve stuck to fashion designers in the past, they recently let everyone’s favorite pseudo-British aging pop star create a collection. It’s actually significantly better than I expected, with plenty of basic pieces that could be worn in tons of different ways.

Daytime dresses are the staple of the collection, with several different shapes and styles. The overall silhouette is long and lean, and the necklines, as well as the at-the-knee-hemlines, are low. Ruched dresses with deeply V-ed necklines and shirtdresses stand out as potential great buys, because they could work for so many situations. For instance, you could wear them to the office (maybe with a cami underneath the more low-cut styles), over jeans or leggings, or dressed up with patterned tights and plenty of jewelry for night.

I think that the black, white, beige, and pale pink color palette is a good call for this collection, mainly because it’s easier to make less expensive pieces seem luxurious in neutral colors (seriously, go to H&M, Forever 21, or another cheap chic store – everything looks better in black). The accessories are done in the same color palette, with the addition of a seriously shiny silver clutch. There are actually a good number of handbags, mostly of the slouchy, boxy sort. The shapes are cute, but I’m withholding judgment until I know if they’re leather or not. Other accessories include some strappy sandals in silver or black, and chunky heeled patent pumps. There is also some kind of knotted turban that would probably only work as part of a costume, but I’m sure that I’ll see some fabulous fashionista chick rocking it.

Belts are also a major component – the tightly defined waistline is the focus of most of the looks. Almost everything was either cinched with a belt or otherwise detailed at the waist, so do your crunches, girls. The wide, multi-buckled corset belt – what a surprise from Madge – is paired with crisp blouses and pencil skirts for a sexy secretary look, but those belts could be styled in a variety of ways (layered over a fitted turtleneck dress, for example).

The overall vibe of the collection is tailored, sleek, and of course, sexy. It’s got a bit of a tough-chic feel to it – it’s definitely more city girl than country mouse. In generally, my favorites were the crisp white trench (there is something so decadent about white coats), the slinky black dresses, and the tailored shirtdress with the leg-of-mutton sleeves; actually, I’d looking forward to seeing all the dresses. I’m also interested in the black and white patent pumps – if they’re actually comfortable, they would be great with slim pants for spring.

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