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Manse Party

H&M sets up a makeshift mansion for its first-ever Paris runway show

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Joan Smalls   
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Laying down your first runway in Paris is no small affair. But H&M, with the resources of international retail success behind it—it has almost three thousand stores, in forty-eight markets worldwide—doesn't do anything small anyway. So for its first-ever Paris fashion show, the Swedish retail giant kitted out an enormous tent on the grounds of the Musée Rodin to resemble a lavish mansion. Editors and celebs sat in themed rooms (a kids' area with a chalkboard wall, a boudoir, a dining room with a fully set table), while some of the biggest names in modeling sashayed through. And sashay is really the best way to describe what Arizona, Cara, Liu, Isabeli, and the show's opener, Joan Smalls, did on the runway in a barrage of over-the-knee boots and sixties-inflected pieces in a palette of black and white that made up the label's Fall ’13 house collection. They whipped their blow-outs back and forth and struck poses on the catwalk with well-honed attitude. After that, how could a dance party not break out?

"It was something unexpected," Smalls offered after the show. But while the runway might've been a surprise, H&M infiltrating high fashion is becoming an ever-more-reasonable expectation. The It girls flown in for the evening—Chloë Moretz, Emma Roberts, Joséphine de la Baume, Daisy Lowe, Pixie Geldof, Claire Courtin-Clarins, and Leigh Lezark—certainly seemed to think so. "I'm wearing H&M, H&M and a Chanel purse," Moretz said of her burgundy minidress and nude heels. "I like the idea that someone can see what I'm wearing and think, I can go buy that." Roberts' evening attire was also a study in mixing and matching. "I love a good high-low," she said. "It's so cool when someone is wearing vintage, with H&M and a Dior bag. That's what fashion is all about."

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