Here Are the 7 Most Wildly Expensive Pieces From the H&M x Balmain Collection
The latest H&M designer collaboration – this time with Balmain – is causing a splash, as they always do. But this time it’s for the prices as much as it is for the sparkle, shimmer and second-skin fit. (Balmain’s creative director, Olivier Rousteing, often dresses the Kardashian clan, if that helps paint a picture for you.) Of the 109-piece collection, six pieces ring in at over $500. Nine are over $300, and the bulk of the collection is in the $200-$300 range.
Here’s the problem, though: All of it smacks of Kardashian. And not good Kardashian (Kendall), but bad Kardashian (Kris). While I want to imagine that metallic pink dress worn effortlessly with, say, a pair of coolly clashy heels (Sophia Webster, perhaps?) or pulled off with good ol’ badassery (Rihanna), I imagine Kris Jenner being poured into it and, well, it’s ruined. Same goes for the dress at the top left corner above. And, sigh, this green sequined one, which I fear only Kate Moss could carry off, with her trademark mussed rocker-chick swagger. While Jourdan Dunn and Gigi Hadid can pull off that draped red satin miniskirt ($99) with aplomb, many of us can’t – and shouldn’t.
Other pieces feel as if they’ve been lifted from an eighties-era Sears, like a duo of silk-ish blouses with a high neck, button detailing on the shoulder and fitted cuffs. It’s all a bit Golden Girls. I guarantee most shoppers would flit right over these if they found them in, say, a thrift store. But in Rousteing’s hands, they’re golden. (And at $99, they’ll surely fly off the shelves. Blanche Devereaux for all!)
Some of the inexpensive buys are bandeau bras ($24.99), a men’s tank ($29.99), Balmain logo t-shirts for men and women ($34.99; prepare to see these everywhere), man beanies ($17.99), semi-random pouches ($34.99), and jewelry (most of which you’ve seen in some iteration in every single fast-fashion store ever, though a gold-toe boot for women, $249, is cute).
To be fair, it’s difficult to judge anything too harshly from afar, as it all comes down to how the fabric feels and how it looks on the body. A faux fur kimono-wrap jacket looks downright flammable online; in person, it might skew just kooky enough to work. A leather moto jacket with gold hardware looks great at first glance, but at $399, it’s questionable whether the leather quality can hold up. A long, double-breasted blazer, $149, could be great, but only if the fabric isn’t scratchy or otherwise cheap-looking in person.
The collection launches in stores and online November 5th. My advice? Choose wisely. (Fashionista has a great slideshow of all the pieces and prices; see it here.) Just keep this visual in mind as you’re shopping.