I woke surrounded by Tiger print. Red and pink Tiger print. Had it all been a dream? A glance at the receipt and an inspection of photos on my phone said otherwise.
A delightful invitation to a preview of Kenzo for H&M had me planning every minute of the week (not to mention a year in advance) beforehand with my plus one. For a diehard long term committed fan of the H & M annual fashion designer collaboration, this one had special resonance: An opportunity not to get up at 5am and queue for days to be first in line, plus the fact that Kenzo, one of the 80’s designers has a special place in my heart. Always just beyond reach of my shoulder padded purse in those heady days, would H&M work their magic on this designer brand’s less acute following in the last couple of decades and up the ante again?
The pre-event texting had been fast and furious, along with the conversations. Hurried phone calls: ‘Do you think the sizes will come up big or small?’ Reply: I don’t know, they’re usually tiny, but Kenzo – I don’t know, Kenzo has a wider audience – literally and figuratively speaking. His fans are a little older now and they’ll still want a piece of the action despite the clear push to seduce a new younger market.’
Each style posted online was analysed to within an inch of its life. When the Regent Street windows went in, the pieces became three dimensional and even more exciting. The textures were class; heavy quilted silk, textured devoré, fine knit wool. The polyester count looked thankfully low and the quality – one of the best we’ve seen from this Swedish high street giant of retail.
The moment came. We stood outside the Regent Street store waiting for the clock to strike 6pm. The moment it did, with the kind of precision afforded an opening night at the theatre, music pounded out as we walked on a Kenzo carpet through the doors. The spectacle I could imagine seeing drawn up on plans had come to life: A Kenzo clad female DJ raised on a platform dead centre was framed behind by two lengthy rows of this most kaleidoscopic collection. Various aficionados stood to one side, further eclectic pieces were placed to the other. Behind all of it was a bar running the length of the store with a series of multi coloured drinks. Waiters carried trays of something sparkling.
But drinking was the last thing on our minds. Despite the exclusive nature of the event, I’m afraid the desire for this particular fashion moment had everyone smashing and grabbing everything in sight. It wasn’t long before my arm ached and rails were emptied of yet another H&M work of genius.
Somewhat frazzled Rach and I met at the cash desk. ‘Got everything you wanted?’ she asked.
‘And then some!’ I veritably purred, stroking the ‘fur’ of my new Tiger print coat.