Wednesday 28 September 2016

Exclusive First Look: H&M's Conscious Collection (and its budget friendly bridal range)

An exclusive preview of the new H&M Conscious Collection revealed in Paris this week

Published 20/03/2016 | 02:30

H&M's Conscious Collection
H&M's Conscious Collection
H&M: Julia wears 'Pandora' marble dress, €199.
'Nike' lace wedding dress, €399.
'Carmine' jacquard jacket, €179, worn over 'Chrstie' sequined wedding dress, €499.
Dress, €499
H&M
Bag,€39.99
H&M
H&M
H&M Conscious Collection.

Don't you just love synchronicity in life?

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When I started plotting this exclusive story last year - about H&M choosing style maven and sustainability champion Julia Restoin Roitfeld as the ambassador for its 2016 Conscious Exclusive Collection - little did I know that March 19 would be Weekend's wedding-themed magazine.

And so, as fashion fate perfectly decreed, the H&M Conscious Collection includes not one but three wedding dresses, priced from €199 to €499.

"I would go for the classic pieces. I like the white lace gown, which can be worn as a wedding dress: it is totally worthy of the red carpet, in an effortless kind of way," says Julia, who bears a striking resemblance to her mother, Carine Roitfeld, former editor in chief of Vogue Paris.

'Nike' lace wedding dress, €399.
'Nike' lace wedding dress, €399.

The Nike wedding dress boasts a Gallic, rock chick irreverence to the traditional bride with its boho, off-white, long-sleeved intarsia of organic cotton lace.

Discussing the hero pieces in the collection which are of vintage feel and modern shapes condensed into a wardrobe of separates, Julia says: "I'd keep the white lace gown shining by itself, with a minimum of accessories. Mix 'n match is totally sustainable - you expand the possibilities of your wardrobe without consuming more products."

Julia acknowledges that defining one's own style is not an easy task. "I'm very instinctive and I'd say that my own style is minimal and classic. I am certainly not as fashionable as my mom: I am quieter and less ahead. I never go for something over the top, I wear what I like and feel comfortable in. I think that style is a little bit of both. Style is just like everything else in life, in fact: you learn from other people as well as from yourself, or from mistakes. As such, it is really a never-ending process."

I loved the shape of the plain white 'Pandora' wedding dress with its fitted, plunging neckline bodice and an intriguing fabric made from organic linen, silk and traditional cotton. The same shape comes in a trompe l'oeil marble print which Julia wears and the fabric is an organic linen and silk with patches of organic hemp.

H&M: Julia wears 'Pandora' marble dress, €199.
H&M: Julia wears 'Pandora' marble dress, €199.

The most expensive piece in the collection is the organic silk 'Christie' wedding dress. Light grey in colour, it has a Deco-inspired embellishment and embroideries made of recycled glass and rhinestones.

For thrown-on glamour, wear it like Julia, with the 'Carmen' coat. It's perfect for a boho bride who favours sustainability, recycled fabrics and clothes that are different from everything else you see around and that, says Julia, "is always another plus."

TOUCHY FEELY! They look great but it's impossible not to reach out to touch and feel the new Conscious Collection which utilises organic silk, hemp, linen and tencel blends. It has a lovely fluid handwriting which means once you 'get' the silhouette, you'll want it all. Some girls might prefer the red carpet show pieces but I'd happily start with the satin skirt and move onto that coat, then the gorg 'Bellona' decorated satin slingbacks with jewel, €79.99. 

GO TO: All these pieces will be available in H&M stores & online at hm.com from April 7

Dress, €499
Dress, €499

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