After the success of last February's H&M runway show — the brand's first one in eight years — at Paris Fashion Week, expectations were high for its next turn on the catwalk. And last night, the mass-market retailer did not underwhelm. First, there was the new name: the Fall 2014 collection now comes from H&M Studio, an arm of the company that has its own dedicated design team and focuses on more elevated, curated seasonal collections. Then, there was the setting, in which the historic Grand Palais was transformed into a stark, steel cityscape with graphic billboards. And, last but not least, there were the clothes.
The overall look was the classic mix of masculine meets feminine. Men's blazers and biker jackets topped sultry slip dresses and draped tops. Colors were muted, perhaps to keep the focus firmly on texture. There was velvet, cashmere, lace, and sequins, not to mention a few very real-looking faur fur toppers. And for those in the front row who love mixing high and low (we're looking at you, Jessica Alba and Olivia Palermo!), this collection was exactly what the modern shopper is looking for: very trendy, very versatile . . . very H&M.