Makeup: Lanvin hearts H&M

Today was unlike any other Tuesday in central London. A queue of 400 waited poised outside H&M on Regent St, each eagerly anticipating the launch of one of the most exciting collaborations in recent years. That’s right, ladies: we’re talking about the day that a bow-tied, bespectacled man with a flair for the romantic opened his world up to the masses. I can’t count the number of people I saw laden with bags as I walked to work, and after seeing the dresses in the window, I found myself wandering to the store at lunchtime, wondering whether I’d find anything more than shell-shocked sales assistants with the odd stiletto print on their chests after the earlier stampede...

So at lunchtime, I joined the queue in store and waited for the rope to be released for our allotted ten minutes of pawing the collection, looking in at the dresses and finding myself utterly underwhelmed at the spectacle of 50+ men and women clamouring to grab whatever they could. I’m not knocking the pieces, but seeing what looks like half of London fighting to get their hands on one of 20ish items in the collection makes me wonder how long it would be before I ran into one (or more likely, 100) women wearing exactly the same thing as me. There’s something about the whole experience that made it feel less desirable, less special, and that’s what stopped me buying any clothes today: it was less shopping, more ‘grab it before it goes’. I’m sure lots of people who bought today absolutely love their purchases, but it struck me that the apparent desire to get something which seems exclusive because of its designer provenance, but is anything but as soon as it appears on the rails of one of the biggest high street chains in the world, has overtaken the minds of many a sane fashionista. I guess herein lies one of those fashion mysteries that we’ll never solve: people who love fashion so often want to be known for their style, which you’d think would mean carving out their own niche, but invariably what’s desirable becomes ubiquitous, and soon we’re all dressed the same and wondering how it happened. I write this while looking at the Breton top on my ironing pile, so I am certainly not ruling myself out of that number!

Regular readers will know I’m not a big designer spender, so I’m certainly not opposed to the concept of high street and designer collaborations, but I love putting outfits together that reflect my personal style, and I’m not quite sure how I’d do that with a fashion piece so striking, so distinctive, that it’s instantly recognisable. Maybe I don’t have the vision, or maybe I just don’t have enough accessories. Anyway, that’s just my thoughts on the whole thing: I’m not judging those who bought one of the dresses, but it was my first experience of a collaboration launch day, and it got me thinking about fashion and style, and how you work a hot pink, off the shoulder ruffle dress in your own way when there are 10 other people in the room wearing the same thing! If any of you have bought from the collection, I’d love to know what you got and your take on the whole concept.

All that said, I’d be a very bad beauty blogger if I went in there, saw there were lipsticks in the collection and left empty handed, so after discovering that the only shade left was red (other shades were plum and a rose pink), I grabbed the adorable package and made my way to the till. The box is super cute, but the lipstick case is not quite as chic as I’d expected. Red, boxy and with a little ‘Lanvin hearts H&M’ logo, it’s getting a ‘could do better’ rating from me. The lipstick itself, however, is super pigmented and a gorgeous Russian red, so definitely a lovely, chic winter shade and great quality for the price (£7.99). For those of you who’d like a little piece of the collection but don’t have a spare £100, or like me, don’t want to look like everyone else, I’d say bag a lipstick and sleep soundly, safe in the knowledge that you’ve reduced your odds of turning up at the Christmas party wearing the same dress as every other woman in the room

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