Pandemonium in Paris
Isabel Marant Pour H&M sells out fast at her hometown launch party
"I don't want to be a rock star," said Isabel Marant at a private preview of her highly anticipated H&M collection several hours before its official launch party in Paris last night. Whether or not Marant craves the celebrity status (and signing autographs for the fans chasing her down in airports) that comes with a mass collaboration like this, the French designer's scope is unquestionably global now, and the soirée at the Tennis Club de Paris was fittingly epic. Freida Pinto, Audrey Tautou, January Jones, Olga Kurylenko, and Alice Dellal were just a handful of the starlets who trekked out to the 16th arrondissement site to celebrate Isabel Marant Pour H&M, and, naturally, they turned up on the red carpet dressed in already-recognizable pieces from the new range.
"I love Isabel's clothes. They're bohemian, chic, fun, and easy to wear, and I think it's really cool that she's doing a line that will be sold everywhere," Jones told Style.com. Alek Wek, who appears in the accompanying campaign, said, "My nieces are so thrilled because they are students and have always wanted to be able to afford Isabel." Pinto, who was sporting the standout shrunken embellished jacket and fringed booties from the capsule (a compilation of Marant's greatest hits) did a quick twirl for the cameras, then said, "Girls are known to wear the most uncomfortable shoes, but these are very comfortable—I'm going to be able to walk around a lot." It's a good thing her footwear was comfy because the evening ahead involved a whole lot of dancing.
H&M transformed the Tennis Club into a laissez-faire street fair, with a sprawl of food vendors and a roller derby rink as well as a hidden nineties-style nightclub complete with a smoking room in the back. Keeping up with the throwback theme, old-school hip-hop group The Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Melle Mel took to the stage and had everyone vibing along to such hits as "The Message" and "Rapper's Delight" (not to mention an a cappella rendition of "Billie Jean"). After a quick presentation with models grooving on top of a bar underneath a giant disco ball, guests were invited to shop the collection early, and pandemonium ensued. One eager girl broke into tears while trying to writhe her way to the front of the line; racks of chunky knits, lacy tunics, skinny trousers, and oversize outerwear (for the first time, Marant also offered menswear and kids' items) were picked over in seconds flat and registers were ringing furiously.
Taking in the scene, model-of-the-moment Drake Burnette said, "I didn't quite get Isabel's aesthetic until I met her. As a Texan, I was like, who is this French chick creeping on American Western style? Now I'm totally down. Apparently, so is everyone else." Earlier in the day, Marant told Style.com, "This [collaboration] was a very good way to give back the love that I'm receiving from people. I know when I really make something that is desirable because I myself cannot wait to have it, and sometimes you have this magic moment when you really achieve something that is a hit." We'd say she's got another one on her hands.