Keeping the tradition alive of over-the-top launch parties, H&M threw yet another one of their epic shindigs to celebrate their soon-to-be-released designer collaboration with Paris-based avant garde design house Maison Martin Margiela. Taking over a beautifully decaying and defunct nine-story building in New York's City Hall neighborhood, Tuesday night's party saw a mix of red carpet bougieness, a random performance and installation art, and middle-aged women attacking clothing racks (picture a 6 AM Black Friday scenario where the goal for shoppers isn't to get good deals, but rather to drop some hefty loaves of bread on designer clothes, all in the name of exclusivity). #AttackTheRacks
As soon as I entered the space at street level, all you could see were a few waiters with glasses of free alcohol, chic people hanging around, and the red carpet lined with paps and celebs. Heading to the bathroom area, which consisted of matching white port-a-potties, I asked an attendant what's the deal with this place/where do I go/where da party at?
Turns out you had to walk upstairs to the top floor to check out the collection. So up I went, passing various floors that featured art installations. Some of the arty things I saw on my way to the top included a large canvas filled with a white, sandy-like substance and track marks made by a model/performer.
Before checking out the shop on the top floor, rumors started going around that Mr. College Dropout himself was in the building. I was chatting it up with these two cute-ish British dudes, speculating that H&M closed the shop down just for Kanye. Then one of the Brits pointed out that Yeezy was actually right behind me.
Of course, I realized I had no time to spare. I had to get a photo with him. Just as I was about to ask him for a pic, he started saying that he couldn't do any more photos. Being the pushy gal that I am, I asked him if I could get a quick one for VICE, and he responded something along the lines of: "Oh, totally cool." Solid stuff there folks. Bonus points go out to Yeezy for wearing a coat from the collaboration that night and probably (as far as I could tell) rocking concealer and eye makeup—only a true boss can pull off shit like that.
Finally I made my way upstairs to the shop floor, missing out on some big performance number that went down at the bottom and had all the guests peering over the railings from the levels above. I was looking for the comforter coat, ankle boot Lucite heels, and those candy bag clutches that were blowing up my Intsagram feed that night.
As soon as I walked in the shopping area, which was decorated to match the decayed off-white motif of the building, I could see a bunch of middle-aged French speaking ladies who just oozed wealth ripping through the racks and boxes. With no other option, I dived in to see if anything would tickle my fancy.
I spent almost an hour ripping the shopping floor a new one like every other guy and gal in the joint. I lucked out on a few pieces: a dress for $199 and two candy bags, each for $59.95. Exhausted, dehydrated, and painfully too sober after my shopping spree, I headed downstairs to finally get my party on and shmooze.
I then went on to check out some more art. This time I saw installations with life-like mannequins that were drenched in massive white gunk. They were so obscured, you could barely see the items from the MMM collection underneath all the of the jizzum-like goop. Two seconds later, my favorite hardworking Jew bros in the biz, A-Trak and Dave 1 from Chromeo, showed up on the scene.
I asked if I could get a photo for VICE and they agreed. A few seconds later Dave 1 asked me if I was Jewish. "Yes," I replied. I followed that up with a "Shabbat shalom!" 'cause that's how I (challah) roll. A few seconds later, another babe walked up acting like he was rolling or something. He said that he helped install the mannequin-y pieces. He went on to explain how each piece was built and prepared for the event, with a subtle dismay. Even though I was too tired to care because I had been at the event for about four hours at that point, I still felt bad for the kid. Plus he was the hottest questionably straight guy who talked to me that evening—he even asked if I wanted to get high with him. Aw, how sweet.
Then I caught him eyeing up my androgynous gay friend a little too closely. Realizing it was too late for that bullshit, I headed down the stairs to make my slow exit back to the unglamorous reality that is my life.
Photo source: Instagram
When you get to go to fashion events as lavish as this one was, it's easy to get swept up in the allure of it all. And there's no way in hell I can say I didn't fall for it—the exclusivity of the event, getting first dibs on the limited edition collection, hobnobbing with VIPs, and drinking all the free booze I wanted. When you're thrown into the pit of all of that, it's easy to walk away having spent $300 you didn't have on clothes you could never see yourself wearing but you bought them anyway because a kajillion others couldn't.
While I do respect the craft and legacy of MMM, I personally can't get away with wearing 95 percent of their stuff. It's not that I don't have the balls to wear a Snuggie-like dress (which was crazy soft and comfy, by the way) or an oversized blazer that screams postmodernism a la Laurie Anderson and Talking Heads, it's just that I'm not a tall, thin supermodel. And let's face it, that's really who MMM clothes were designed for before they churned out this new diffusion collection.
I'm a fluctuating 8 to 10 dress size, 39 inches at the hip, 36C cup, broad-shouldered bitch. Yet, I managed to find one dress that screamed 90s glam with that slight postmodern edge, along with one of the night's most coveted items: the candy bag clutch in pink and silver. I'm still kind of amazed at the amount of shekels I dropped at the cash register, it was even more than I spent on last year's Versace guest collection. But whatever, fuck it. It's fashion—you're supposed to have fun and be a bit lavish once in a while.
Worse comes to worst, I can always sell the shit on eBay.
The Maison Martin Margiela for H&M collection will be released in select stores worldwide on November 15, 2012.