The Viktor & Rolf limited edition collection for H & M hits stores on Nov. 9. Fashion editor Bernadette Morra and stylist Derick Chetty had a sneak peek at the collection and shared their thoughts below. Click on the comments link at the end of their exchange to submit your own comments.
I think this is H & M's best designer collaboration yet. Of course it was great to have access to the designs of Stella McCartney and Karl Lagerfeld at H & M prices. But there were only a couple of pieces in each collection that I felt strongly enough to spend money on. But there was so much in this Viktor & Rolf collection that I wanted to buy! Bernadette
It was great to see menswear! And I agree, this collection is definitely more fashion-y. And there's shoes - a first in these designer collaborations. Derick
I thought the collection was full of wonderful classics laced with Viktor & Rolf wit, like the pea coat with heart buttons ($149) and the men's argyle sweater with cupid's arrows replacing the straight lines ($69.90). Essentially, everything is centred on the concept of love - hence the bridal gown ($398). It was very sweet with a large bow-shaped bodice, and frilled hem. The fabric was a bit crunchy so I think it might be a hard sell. Except to collectors and Viktor & Rolf fanatics. But I think this collection has many winners. Bernadette
We should note that the bridal gown is even more limited edition - only 1,000 are made for sale at select H&M's around the world - Canada will received 10 - and each is numbered and comes in a special box. Also this collection includes lingerie and underwear. Some very cute romantic lace trimmed pieces decorated with bows - a V&R signature. And for men, undershirts with trompe l'oeil bow tie and tuxedo shirt-like pleating. Derick
Yes, the lingerie was very sweet but pretty flimsy. Not for outside the boudoir. However, I want that black kimono wrap robe ($59.90). I love the grosgrain bows at the wrists, and the lace heart inset at the back.
We have a comment from a reader who asks how Viktor & Rolf have taken their almost baroque technique and applied it to ready-to-wear. I am not sure what she means by baroque technique. But I do think their sensibility comes through very strongly in the collection. Their own collections are witty but I find them a bit too extreme for my taste. The H & M versions are sort of like "Viktor & Rolf Lite" - which I personally find much more appealing.
What are you interested in getting? You tried on quite a few things. Bernadette
I'm thinking about the dark denim tuxedo jacket and the trench coat. I think the trench at $199 is a great buy. A faded eggplant colour, very fitted and with a removable lining. A fun item I noticed was the square framed eyewear much like what the two designers themselves wear. Now you too can look like Viktor or Rolf! Derick
Readers can see the Viktor & Rolf collection at www.hm.com. It will be carried at only two stores in Toronto - Eaton Centre and Bloor St. just west of Yonge St. It will be interesting to see what the public response is. People started lining up at 6 a.m. when the Karl Lagerfeld for H & M collection hit the stores. Line-ups for Stella McCartney started at 8 a.m. The stores open at 10. Bernadette
Yes, it will be interesting to see the public's reaction. Viktor & Rolf is not a household name like Karl Lagerfeld but anyone would find these pieces appealing and wearable regardless of if they are familiar with the work of these two Dutch designers. But you can bet the city's fashionistas will be picking over those racks come next Thursday! Derick
We heard some funny stories at H & M's corporate offices today. They told us that when the Lagerfeld collection hit the Eaton Centre store, two women were fighting over a blouse and actually tore it in half! They also said that people were climbing into the display windows to remove clothes from the mannequins.
Derick, have you decided where you will be lining up? Bernadette
No one cares where I'm going to be going. Derick.
Don't be so sure! Bernadette