Excited to finally share a city with one of H&M's flagship stores, I was eager to actually experience a Studio Collection in person, rather than just drool over the internet photos. So for yesterday's launch, I headed over to Charlottenburg to see it first-hand. I arrived about an hour after store opening and already the highly-anticipated pieces like the cropped khaki sweater and multi-patterned maxi dress had been picked through. Even so, I was not disappointed. From the artistic, gold-accented displays to the luxe fabrics and finishes, it was total eye candy for the fashion set. Touching the fabrics, understanding the cut and drape of certain pieces, and feeling the weight of the higher quality construction in one's hands really did make all the difference.
There were lovely surprises like this beaded top that positively sparkled in person, which frankly, I hadn't even noticed online:
I made a quick sweep of the collection, grabbing what I had already scoped out online, as well as several pieces that caught my eye in person - all the while noting the unfortunate absence of the black shearling - and headed to try on my selections.
As it so often happens behind the fitting room curtains, clothes can transform on the body. Something that seemed 'blah' on the hanger can be filled out and shaped pleasingly by one's body, or in the unfortunate circumstances, beautiful pieces can fall flat on the frame and remain beautiful solely on the rack.
What surprised me the most was the short, wool-blend pilot jacket. I skimmed over it on the website preview, not really taking interest, but in person, the details and quality begged me to add it to my fitting room pile. I noticed the plush neckline and heavyweight fabric immediately when I slipped it on. This had the feel of a much more expensive coat. The more I played around with it, snapping it up, unzipping the pockets, turning around, the more I started to fall in love. The black collar, cuffs and seaming details looked so chic against the navy fabric, and the elastic bottom created a surprisingly flattering, fashion-foreward silhouette. It's one of those pieces that only goes with so much, but I have a feeling if it were it was in your closet, you'd create outfits specifically in order to wear it again and again.
While I ended up leaving empty-handed - my birthday is only a week away, as my husband reminds me every time I start to pine when another fall line hits the stores - the one piece I really regret passing up with the aforementioned jacket. It's already sold out on Germany's site, and is one size away from being the same in the US, but there is still hope at any of the stores carrying the exclusive line. I'm fighting the urge not to run back to the one here and see if they haven't all disappeared into closets of some very fashionable, very lucky Berliners...
It's worth noting that I also popped into & Other Stories for its Lykke Li collaboration launch and Uniqlo for its latest Ines de la Fressange collection, but felt a little let down by both. Of the Lykke Li pieces that appealed to me, namely a leather t-shirt and a collection of gold-toned rings, they were much too expensive (195€ and 45€, respectively) for my casual shopping outing. The cashmere sweaters were an exception, with generous measurements and a super-soft touch, they were the most practical items of the indulgent collection. The rest was nail colors and beauty pieces that had already existed, but had a co-lab sticker with 'Lykke Li' emblazoned on it to make them appear as fresh offerings. The collection at Uniqlo was a pleasing assortment of French-countryside-looking tweed blazers, denim dresses and striped sweaters, if not a bit conservative for my current tastes. The one exception for me were the accessories. A nice collection of hats - berets, structured felt hats and knit beanies - and a luxurious-feeling cashmere-mix scarf offered at an incredibly reasonable 25€ were pieces I could definitely see myself in.
As if I needed more fuel to the fire that is my love for autumn, after perusing the latest offerings in the shops, I am in even more anticipation of the coming season - not to mention whatever my birthday has in store for me. Here's to the best season for dressing all year!