Monday, March 29, 2010

The Garden Collection, By H&M

Let's cut to the chase: Either you love it or you hate it. "The Garden Collection", by H&M, a Swedish retail giant, is just as the title describes: An explosion of colorful flowers, printed or embroidered onto organic or recycled pallates in the forms of long, flowy gowns, billowy tops, form-fitting skirts and flouncy shorts. The prettiest garment, in my opinion, is the most desired in the collection: the multicolored kimono-style dress (pictured above). Thing is, I could imagine myself wearing it, while lounging around in the privacy of my own home.
The dress does nothing for the model wearing it. Matter of fact, her figure is obscured in it (and some customers thought that H&M on Newbury St not carrying it was an inconvenience). Another coveted item, the Red tube dress ( shown above, also in Beige) looks surprisingly good up close. The floral detail on the skirt is well assembled, and it doesn't look cheap, especially for the price ($34.95).
The multicolored smock dress, with "ethnic floral design" as H&M's press release describes it, looks like something I donned in an elementary school art class. The floral prints are too loud, and the color combinations are so grotesque, that the garment was rightfully named a "smock" because it belongs in an art class. Maybe paint splashing all over it doesn't seem like a bad idea, maybe it will improve!! The organic shorts look like they were made from a burlap sack that once held Idaho potatoes, and they wouldn't flatter any woman, if you ask me.
 However, my grief with this collection, lies in the fact that it fails to complement a curvy shape. Once again, I feel that H&M did not have a "womanly" shape in mind when creating the collection. Matter of fact, as a whole, I don't think they had anyone in mind when they decided that grandma's old house dresses should be revamped and would ever be considered vogue.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How To Wear..SEQUINS

As an H&M employee I am privy to new items, as well as old, and sale items. The latest trend that I have grown to adore is sequins. Currently, I own a sequined beret (H&M, $12.95); Jacket (Last two photos, bottom :H&M,Black, $49.95); Multicolored Jacket (Left,2nd photo, bottom: H&M, $49.95), and recently purchased a top,#rd &4th photo, bottom: H&M, orig. $49.95, sale $10!!) However, I know that in order to successfully pull off this trend (which incidentially revived after MJ's death), there are a few rules to abide by:

1. Don't wear more than one piece at a time, unless you want to look like your grandmother when she used to party at Studio 54. You'd look costumey and therefore become a "trend victim" by OD-ing on a trend.
2. Make sure you keep whatever else you are pairing with the sequins as simple as possible, so it wouldn't compete with the sequined piece of your outfit.

3. Wear sequin pieces that are flattering. Let me say that again-get pieces that are flattering to your body type. I am sick of people buying a trend because they see it in their size, but it doesn't complement their shape. For example, I am short and busty, and I know that sequined harem pants would not work well with my shape, and I'd look like an elf. Acknowledge that a trend or style doesn't work for you and move on. Everything isn't for everybody!

4. Get a garment whose sequins have been sewn on well, and have decent quality. There are certain stores that I've visited, and the sequined items I observed had such poor stitching that all it took was one pull, and all the sequins would fall off onto the ground. This is a trend that if you want to store the garment for future usage, I suggest that you pay a bit more for better quality. Furthermore, don't wear any materials that could get snagged by the sequins.

5. If you'd like to try this trend, but are nervous because it is a very flashy and daring look, start off small with a clutch, shoes,belt, or a headband. I started out purchasing the black sequined beret from H&M, then worked my way up. It is not entirely covered in sequins but just enough for a bit of sparkle.