I never thought I that I would line up for 7 hours for anything in my lifetime – for anything – but I proved myself wrong. The Balmain x H&M collaboration was one of the most anticipated fashion events of the year, with flagship stores selling out of the collection instantly upon opening. I heard that people in Turkey were tearing clothes off the mannequins and that people in London were getting into full-blown arguments over a top, while others set up camp at the store door from 2pm the previous day. Its bizarre and ridiculous considering the amount of hype and effort being exerted over a bunch of clothes. But it’s in the name of Balmain, and for those who are familiar with Olivier Rousteing’s mesmerising work at La Maison Balmain, that’s enough said.
Firstly, the collection is everything that Balmain stands for: bling, beautiful fabrics and attention to detail, plus a hint of 80’s inspiration. For the majority of us who can’t afford Balmain’s ready-to-wear prices, it’s a chance of a lifetime for regular people to have a piece of Balmain at an affordable cost. For a 19 year old student with a dismal bank account and an infatuation with Balmain circa the 2012/2013 A/W collection, it was a miracle. So off I went, dragging my confused sister with me at 2.30 in the morning.
The line had already at least 100 people in it, all chilling in their camp chairs and wrapped in blankets. Everyone was in high spirits though, and it didn’t take too long for 7 am to roll around. By this point I was concerned that we wouldn’t even receive a wristband, but my concerns were dismissed once we found out that we were in the 9.15 slot. In order to cater for the masses, people in line would be given a wristband saying which slot they had to shop the collection, and each slot was strictly confined to 10 mins each for 20 people per slot. The store officially opened at 8 am but they started giving out wristbands at 7 am. Once it was our time to shop, it was such a surreal experience. People were in a flurry trying to get the items they wanted and were viciously taking things from racks- including me. You literally just took anything you could get, because so many of the items had already sold out in the short space of time. Naturally I had high hopes to purchase a couple items in particular which I was vying for ever since they released the campaign pictures, but alas, they were already gone. HOWEVER I was lucky to come out of the bizarre experience with three dresses, one very furry jacket, a t-shirt and a fabulous belt – with help from the lovely sister, of course. Honestly we were the lucky ones, because those who were a part of the 10 am session really did not have much to wait for which would have been extremely disappointing. But I suppose all is fair in love and fashion when it comes to designer collabs.
Despite the lack of sleep and lengthy waiting period, it was actually a pretty great experience. It was an undeniably exciting event and I feel SO content with my purchases that I wanted to wear them at my exam today just ’cause (but I didn’t FYI). I know it’s cruel not to show my purchases now (taking photos of the pieces alone doesn’t do them justice, and I can’t be bothered putting them on right now), but I can guarantee that I’ll feature them on the blog sometime soon, so stay tuned!
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