PARIS – Haute couture met the high street once again, as fast-fashion retailer H&M staged its second Paris Fashion Week show at the city’s Grand Palais, taking over the same space where Saint Laurent has showed its last few collections, and Chanel will show next Tuesday.
Once again, the brand brought in the star power with Jessica Alba, Solange Knowles and Pretty Little Liars’ Troian Bellisario, flanked by a bevy of high fashion models including Jourdan Dunn and Miranda Kerr, in the front row.
A coy Knowles couldn’t remember what she was wearing. It was the first fashion week stop for Alba, clad in a lace H&M dress. She's planning on attending Nina Ricci, Christian Dior and Kenzo to round out her Paris schedule.
“I like that anywhere in the world I can go into an H&M and find what I need,” said the actress, who’s set to start shooting The Wright Girls in April. “I never leave without a full bag of clothes. With the cuts and the colors it’s like a cool, hip take on classics.”
The brand put on a big show with a light installation, giant screens and a metal runway giving the Beaux-Arts building an industrial feel. French pop star Cecile Cassel performed her hit, "Come Back to Me," as Lindsey Wixson, Saskia de Brauw and Joan Smalls hit the runway in a collection that featured miniskirts with tall boots, slip dresses and oversize coats, prompting Dunn to cheer on her friends and fellow models.
The lightning-fast pace came as a bit of a surprise for Dunn. “So that’s it then?” she asked her neighbors as the nine-minute show wrapped up. “It was very quick, considering that I’m always backstage and there’s always a lot of preparation time. Very fast, but fun, and I enjoyed it. Every time I saw my friends walk by I was like, ‘Oh-my-god-hi!’ ”
The Swedish retailer has had an increasingly high profile in Hollywood with a steady stream of red carpet placements for its Conscious Collection gowns, including on Ginnifer Goodwin at the 2012 White House Correspondent’s Dinner and Michelle Williams at the 2012 BAFTA Awards. On the heels of this successful sophomore show, it remains to be seen if the retailer will have a repeat performance at this year's Oscars, considering Helen Hunt wore a dark blue H&M gown to last year's award show.