Last night, H&M Studio S/S 17 was brought to the runway at the iconic venue Tennis Club de Paris. We’ve examined every detail in a collection that sends a global message of love.
For the fourth year in a row, H&M put on a runway show at Paris Fashion Week to unveil its most fashion-forward collections – it was both menswear and womenswear this year – to a star-studded audience (and the rest of the world via social media).
The collections are inspired by contradictions, which is evident when examining what the models were wearing on the runway. For women, there are romantic blouses and shirts with ruffles as well as minimalistic anoraks and dresses in technical materials with plenty of sportswear details. For men, many garments mix formalwear and sportswear; for example, there’s a trench coat with dropped vents made in technical materials, and delicate transparent tops layered with heavier jackets and lace-up knits.
“Sportswear has influenced mainstream fashion for years. However, we weren’t interested in making a sportswear collection, so instead we took small parts from it, used some fabrics that are pretty unconventional to use in menswear, and merged it with rustic and very masculine items,” says H&M’s head of menswear design Andreas Löwenstam.
Although the designers were inspired by contradictions, the final collections are a very balanced mix of sport and smarts. Most garments come in an either black or white colour hue, with a few bright pink exceptions. The materials used range from fine-knitted wool, voluminous silk and translucent nylon. Some added crinkled and transparent nylons, balloon shapes and drawstrings give the collections a 90s vibe as well.
“We want to send a global message of love. There are a few pieces that carry the word again and again, kind of like a ticker tape or a constant reminder of what is important. It feels like now, more than ever, we all need positive feelings and thoughts in our lives,” says H&M’s head of design Pernilla Wohlfahrt.
When developing the concept for the collections, H&M’s design team travelled to Havana in search of inspiration.
What we saw on the Paris runway is far from the traditional concept of Caribbean fashion, but if you look closely, you’ll find several clues that hint where it first came from. Ballet is one of the most popular sports in Havana and the designers were staying next to a dance studio when visiting the island nation, which is why there are headbands and ballet necks on both the men’s and women’s ranges. If you look even closer, you’ll see that the rings are strikingly similar to cigar bands. The perhaps most famous Cuban souvenir.
Read more about the show here and shop the collection below.