If luxe could thrill: Moschino for the masses
Caitlin McBride got an exclusive first look at H&M's new designer collaboration with the Italian fashion house in London - and was not left disappointed
As we pull up to the kerb, the paparazzi are impatiently staring in the window trying to determine if I am a 'somebody' and the look of disappointment on their faces when they see me as I exit the vehicle tells me that I, in fact, am not.
I've arrived at exclusive London member's club Annabel's in Mayfair, to celebrate H&M's latest designer collaboration, this time with Moschino, the Jeremy Scott-led Italian fashion house enjoying a resurgence in popularity thanks to its unique designs and Insta-worthy pieces, which are being made available to a wider audience thanks to a brand new capsule collection with the high street brand.
The guest list is proof that there is certainly plenty of somebodies, including Madonna (who arrived last), while Jade Thirlwall from Little Mix, Ashlee Simpson and rising star Mabel fill the VIP room in the members-only club playing host to the European launch.
The collection is a celebration of consumerism and an ode to self expression in the form of over-the-top accessories for those who not only want to stand out from the crowd, but live for it.
Most of the pieces are unisex and the menswear in particular sends a message that the days of stuffy men's clothing are gone: now, we have CD-print collared shirts and Goofy sweatshirts, not to mention a gold sequin puffer jacket which glitters even more so in real life than it does in pictures.
A select number of the most sought-after styles will be available directly in Ireland's flagship store in Dublin's College Green this morning, and the place has been buzzing with excitement as the launch date approaches. In fact, an oversized gold chain bag has been displayed in the window for the last two weeks, adding to the hype.
Each part of the world has been given a specially curated edit suited to its market and for the Irish shopper, this means core items like the logo T-shirt and denim jackets will be at the heart of what's available. However, the entire collection will be available to Irish shoppers online - but these items sell like hot cakes, so have your wishlist ready and get in early.
Signature pieces include a gold leather jacket with chain detail, a pair of gold Moschino embossed earrings shaped on to condom wrappers and the a bustier style black leather mini dress Bella Hadid modelled at the global launch in New York last month.
Prices range from €9.99 to €299 - the most accessible Moschino will ever be to the average customer, including yours truly. In recent weeks, the influencer-led campaign has filled Instagram feeds, showing real ways to style the clothing when you're not a supermodel. Hadid might be the face of the campaign, but in Ireland, fashion influencers like Rosie Connolly, Louise Cooney and Lynn Kelly were among those given the task of stylising the pieces, giving shoppers creative ideas about how to wear them day-to-day. The collaboration makes sense from everybody's point of view - H&M enjoys money-can't-buy publicity around the anticipation of another hit designer collection in advance, and Scott has always been vocal of his belief that beautiful garments should be accessible.
It's this devil-may-care attitude that has made him one of the industry's fastest rising stars: he's the man who made you want an oversized Windolene bottle as your phone cover and reinvigorated our collective love of bold print and unashamed logos.
These signatures inform this collaboration's core and having seen it first hand, it's certainly worth the hype.
"I am 'the people's designer', after all. That's a title that's been bestowed on me, I think, because I believe in the democratisation of fashion, and I've found many different ways to reach people," he said about the collaboration, describing the looks as a "greatest hits collection".
It appeals to those who generally can't afford Moschino so aren't too concerned if a look is reminiscent of his AW15 collection.
H&M's collaborations are legendary - over the years, they have featured everyone from Kenzo, Versace, Erdem and Comme des Garçons since their debut pairing with Karl Lagerfeld. Every year is a surprise, but it's hard to think of a better marriage than this one - and if what I've seen in person so far is anything to go by, it's worth the early morning wake-up call and queue outside in the cold for a piece at 9am.