H&M’s bi-annual showcase in Paris never fails to attract some very famous faces. From Solange Knowles to Mark Ronson, there’s hardly a celeb who doesn’t enjoy the high street giant’s high-end offering. For AW16, the stars turned out in force to show their support, both on and off the catwalk.
Sitting FROW-side was the likes of Ciara, Suki Waterhouse, Emma Roberts, male model (and son of Daniel Day-Lewis) Gabriel-Kane, Olivia Palermo and also our new favourite A-list couple: Jamie Bell and Kate Mara. The pair posed happily for photographers before denying any engagement rumours, which had been sparked by Kate wearing a ring on her wedding finger. Aside from quashing any mention of aisles, the pair also spoke of their love for the show. Kate told E! News: “It was amazing. I think it was fantastic that there’s more diversity on the runway and things are evolving.”
Indeed, H&M’s model line-up was one of the most diverse we’ve seen this season. From some of our favourite supers like Jourdan Dunn, Natasha Poly and Freja Beha Erichsen to the amazing Amber Valetta, transgender model Andreja Pejic and Sports Illustrated cover girl Ashley Graham, H&M’s supermodel squad was a celebration of individuality with girls of all ages and sizes. We were particular fans of 65-year old Pat Cleveland- one of Halston’s favourite models in the 70s- who shimmied down the runway in her own, inimitable way.
As for the clothes, from the moment Natasha Poly opened the show in a shearling jacket, we knew H&M had yet another success story on its hands. Sure enough, we witnessed a very desirable- and very wearable- array of slouchy tailoring, flowing maxi dresses, mannish separates, elaborate embroidery, luxe texture and some of the most incredible over-the-knee boots ever to grace a pair of legs. From white to snakeskin finsihes, these boots are not for the faint-hearted; our very favourites were the embroidered pair as seen on Amber Valetta- the goddess that is.
Other stand-out pieces included the snake-print, leather jackets with cropped, balloon sleeves and the striped, wide-leg trousers; we predict a sell-out situation when those hit shelves later in the year. Although social media faves Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid were nowhere to be seen despite walking for the brand in AW15, the sheer amount of celebrities in attendance, not to mention the Insta-influencers sitting amongst them, was proof enough that H&M has pulling power- and then some.
H&M itself says that the AW16 show’s main inspiration was “strong women and the beauty of independent minds,” which was evident in the casting alone. We can’t help but feel that some of fashion’s luxury brands would benefit from taking a leaf out of this book.