This Thursday sees one of this years most anticipated couture collections coming to the high street stores!
Balmain for H&M!
So, I am a massive lover of couture fashion (not just because I’m like a magpie and love anything shiny and sparkly) because I love beading and sewing myself and understand the time and processes taken to make such exquisite pieces. Even though I am a huge vintage fashion collector, I still buy my basics from places like Topshop and River Island, because I believe you just can’t beat Topshop leggings! I am also a massive fan of mixing vintage clothing with current wears, to keep the looks fresh and unique. However there are times when I splash out on high street goodies and that is when a huge fashion house collaborates with a high street shop.
My first favourite collaboration was Christopher Kane for TopShop (2009)
So my first investment piece was this beautiful black embellished dress on the left. This dress has hundreds of mirrors sewn on it and the quality is just outstanding. The weight of it alone has to be about the weight of a small child, God knows how much this would cost to post! This did set me back quite a chunk of my bank account, I can’t remember how much it was but it was around the £100-£200 mark. I didn’t actually get this for any special occasion it was simply just one of those moments when I had the money and had to have it. The mirror sequins were whispering ‘wear me, you know you want to’ or ‘you are going to look fabulous in me, so just buy me!’ Yes clothes do talk to me, I’m not going crazy but it happens.
So the dress was being walked up to the till, when I saw this dress…..
It was hanging on a rail, by the till(in my size) !!!!! It was just meant to be. So yes this one came home with me as well.
Reason being, I had such a huge crush on Christopher Kane’s gorilla dresses and when the price difference is so far apart I just had to get it. So this dress was around the £60-£70 mark, please don’t quote me I just can’t remember that far back. But when a dress designed by such an amazing designer only costs a fraction of the price when it is brought to a high street store, compared to their normal brand. It’s just a great way to get designer or couture clothes for around 10% of the price if they were from their own shop.
So the two gorilla dresses here are from Christopher Kane’s SS 2009 collection and one of these bad boys would set you back a couple of grand. Where as the collaboration with TopShop was in the Autumn 2009, so even though the dresses are completely different (as in animal) and there isn’t the structure of the semi circle chiffon, there is the sense of ‘I just purchased a giant bargain, by a designer that I love!’ Not only that but I still wear these dresses 6 years later, showing that they are in fact statement pieces that are investments! I honestly believe this, and do you know why? Because I went to visit the beautiful V&A museum and the same black mirrored Christopher Kane dress was in the fashion section !!!! Yes I can say I have a dress that’s in the V&A. Not going to lie, but that will always make me smile.
So even though these outfits are from the high street stores and they are in people’s reach, I really think these are pieces to be invested in. I mean Biba, was a high street store! And so was Mary Quant. In the sixties every girl was getting their latest mini dress or skirt from these high street stores, and now they are considered vintage collectables. Have you seen the price of a vintage Biba dress? Let’s just say a lot more than what my nan would have paid for it brand new!
So what other high end fashion houses have collaborated with high street brands?
well I’m glad you asked, here are my top 5 favourites…..
- Christopher Kane Fall collection 2009 for TopShop
- Mary Katrantzou Collection 2014 for Adidas
- Peter Pilotto collection 2014 for Net-A-Porter
- Versace Fall collection 2011 for H&M
- Lavin Summer collection 2011 for H&M
So let’s look at the new Balmain for H&M collection shall we?
So I know the prices range from £12.99 – £399.99
unfortunately I can’t find the prices of each piece, so I’m going to guess. (Please don’t kill me)
The dress on the far left is a gorgeous Devore emerald green sensation that probably won’t cost you more than £200. This dress is stunning and the colour is fabulous for any Autumn outing. Now let’s compare this dress to one from the Balamin collection online from their own store and see the price comparison.
Yes this dress that is incredibly similar and will set you back a whopping, £2,810.00!!!!
yes the price difference is insane.
With the similarities being uncanny, you can see that both must have been designed by the same fashion house. With that In mind, these collaborations with high street stores are an absolute steal!
Here are some of my favourite pieces in the collection and if I’m lucky enough I am going to try my hardest to get some
especially this jacket…..
The style reminds me of 1940s monkey jacket, with the long fur and the tight waist band, but this is out of this world. It’s almost like a peacock and a monkey mated and gave birth to this jacket. It’s just stunning and I feel like it’s one of those pieces that’s going to start talking to me.
Now both of these dresses are gorgeous. With the sheer amount of beading and sequin detail these are going to be well worth the money. I really would like to get my hands on either of these dresses, as they are couture pieces for such low prices.
Finally this last dress reminds me of a Versace number, but I love the black and gold combo with the embellished detail. Any of these dresses would make a great statement at a Christmas party. But these are the kind of pieces that are great if you want to invest or start collecting. Not just because of the brand name, but these are amazing quality and will last you a life time, if you look after them.
(Me in my bargain Christopher Kane dress, celebrating New Year and the fact my dress is awesome)
You never know, your favourite piece might end up in the V&A museum one day too