When I first laid my eyes on the Balmain x H&M ad campaign, I freaked. Embellished dresses and jackets, sequins and glitter, clean, structured silhouettes… what’s there not to love? It was a mix of glamour and urban chic, the result of a wonderful partnership between two brands that created couture which was within reach of the masses. My Twitter timeline was filled with tweets from the #HMBalmaination launch party last week in New York and I welcomed every update! I don’t think I’ve been excited for any other H&M collection before this one (yes, not even the Alexander Wang x H&M collaboration).
Naturally, I was thrilled that there were so many long-sleeved options, the most eye-catching being the beaded dresses. Then I realised, “Oh wait, these are bodycon”. As an advocate for modest fashion, there’s always a balance you choose to meet between a form and loose fit which can be achieved by playing around with multiple layers and silhouettes (e.g. layering a dress with a pair of flared pants). Alternatively, there’s the option of going beltless, which could offset any tightness from the cutting of the dress. I love that a lot of these dresses were styled with pants – a look favoured by many in the modest fashion community.
Bodycon issues aside, there are so many wearable options from #HMBalmaination that will make great collection pieces or statement items for special events. I tried my best to pick a personal favourite but there were just too many that I loved! The ones I featured below include a beautiful beaded top, gold embroidered pants and a perfect head-to-toe look on Gigi that I absolutely adore. I’m also in love with the bedazzled clutch from the collection (carried by Gigi in the first photo above) – the beadwork is so lovely and it’s such a great versatile piece to have when you need to pair an outfit for a night out. (Racked has some wonderful close-ups of the details on each piece).
Hopeful as I was, glamour and intricate craftsmanship do not come cheap. Most of the pieces from this line fall within a three-digit price mark – way below the usual Balmain prices, of course, but still, not what you’d call affordable by H&M standards. (Full lookbook and Singapore price list here). Nonetheless, I believe that devout Balmain followers and loyal fashion fans will do what it takes to get their hands on a piece of the French couture house when it launches in Singapore on 5 November, queues not excluded. And me? As much as I would like to refrain from such drastic measures… I might make this one an exception.