Alexander Wang’s highly anticipated H&M collection has finally hit stores. On Nov. 6, Wang’s designer pieces filtered down into the public sphere and into malls everywhere, and the collaboration marks the first time an American designer has teamed up with the popular Swedish-based clothing store.
The world went a little crazy after the Alexander Wang x H&M collection debuted on Thursday. The line caused such frenzy that altercations were reported outside of a London location and the entire H&M website crashed as servers were overloaded with visitors. Going on the site just a few days after the debut revealed that the majority of items had completely sold out. While the fashion world waited on tippy toes in sheer anticipation for the debut, I am surprised how quickly the public attached itself to the Wang line. Seeing as the pieces look like they’ve come fresh off the Star Trek movie set, I have a hard time seeing how the average person could feasibly be interested in wearing the designs in an everyday setting. But perhaps that’s the point. Wang’s style may appear casual-cool, but he is a high-end designer. They may just be plain sweatshirts, but they’re plain sweatshirts with Wang’s name on them, and that can make all the difference.
After seeing the first few sets of promo for the collection, I was skeptical of the realism of the designs. The only place I can imagine wearing a head-to-toe skintight crop-top ensemble with Wang’s named emblazoned across the body is the gym, where I wouldn’t dare wear a designer outfit anyway. However, the materials were custom blended for the line and definitely count as performance wear. There’s even a T-shirt with a logo that only appears when you sweat. This attention to detail is emblematic of Wang’s approach to clothes and is impressive considering that the line is for a less well-heeled and less inquisitive crowd.
The idea behind the line stays in the context of Wang’s typical style, and it definitely doesn’t fall short of his usual weirdness. “Redesigning the urban uniform” is stated under the collaboration’s main page on the H&M website before the shopper is allowed to sift through the pieces. Every design is dominated by gray scale, with the occasional pop of white, blue or neon yellow. Things like the “Scuba-look top” and a sports-style bra with Wang’s initials in bold letters across the chest pretty much sum up the general strangeness. However bizarre the pieces seem, they’re undeniably interesting; fun and significantly over the top. There’s a lot of mesh and a lot of straps. It’s urban, it’s intimidating and most of all, it looks just as expensive as the real stuff. The collection manages to successfully translate Wang’s runway designs into everyday wear — a feat not easily done.
While it may not be a realistic line for me, the collection is clearly a huge hit with the average fashion connoisseur. While some of it may come across as trying way too hard, the pieces are pretty cool. Wang certainly has a distinct visual language, and if you’re into wearing his name across your boobs, thighs and pretty much everywhere else, this collection is screaming your name.