Paris Fashion Week may be more renowned for the lavish opulence of the traditional design houses, but Swedish high street store H&M put on a fashion feast for the eyes last night (2 March) to reveal their Studio AW16 show to the public amid a diverse celebration of women.
The inspiration for the show came from 'strong women and the beauty of independent minds' and this was immediately apparent in the diverse selection of models of all size and age that took to the catwalk in the latest array of beautiful and, more importantly, affordable clothing range.
The historic Bourse de Commerce in Paris was transformed into a wintry paradise with the catwalk resembling a frozen lake that the likes of Amber Valletta, Jourdan Dunn, Freja Beha Erichsen and Soo Joo Park took to as part of the all-star cast, embracing all types of women.
Among the celebrated women cast for the show, model Anna Cleveland was joined by her mother (65 year old) Pat Cleveland, who reigned the catwalks in the seventies, as well as trans models Andrea Pejic and Hari Nef and the plus size Ashley Graham.
The inclusive one-brand-fits-all mentality is not new for H&M, who were the first to feature a Hijaabi model in their eco-conscious "Close the Loop" campaign back in September 2015. However, when this idea is translated into a catwalk show, it certainly does stand out from the crowd.
The crowd in question on the front row, were plentiful and impressed. Emma Roberts, Suki Waterhouse, Kate Mara, Atlanta de Cadenet, Ciara to name a few, were joined by a vast contingent of social media mavens ready to spread the word of H&M louder than the rest of the high end designers showing in Paris.
Click through to see the full collection
The collection had an impressive selection of draped print and embroidered detail inspired by Swedish folklore and handicraft. Cure faux leather cowboy boots were worn with loose maxi dresses, layered with waistcoats and gaucho hats as well as more dramatic capes and detailed tailoring.
"This collection is about the strength and the beauty of women, and how we express that power through our style, " H&M's creative advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson said, " I love the contrast of strong tailoring with handicraft touches of Swedish heritage and folklore."
As with previous H&M Studio shows, the clothes were not technically ground-breaking but there were more than enough very strong pieces as well as a vast number of easily wearable styles that will guarantee this will sell-through once released.