I am plagued with anxiety this week about a looming deadline. THURSDAY 14 NOVEMBER. It has been sitting, waiting patiently for a while now in my diary. Written in huge scrawling letters, in blue pen no less - not pencil, as indicates its significance. It is even double underlined.

It keeps me awake at night, images fluttering around my head and unnerving thoughts of how I can make it possible, how I can achieve this seemingly impossible feat. It is not directly associated with my day job, which itself is jammed full of deadlines and dates and the like, nor thankfully does it have a direct impact on my health or relationship with my husband, family or friends. Debatably.

Yet, it is nearly here and I am nervously perspiring a little more each day as it looms and will finally reach its climactic end.

Isabel Marant's much awaited collaboration with H&M finally hits stores and online this Thursday.


What? Me? Dramatic you say? Your heart was racing for nothing? Pah! You may consider me theatrical, perhaps roll your eyes upwards to heaven, but believe me when I say this is a huge, huge deal. Gargantuan. It has been firmly in my diary since the news first broke back in June and in my eyes all November days lead to Marant.

Isabel Marant is arguably the most influential womenswear designer of our time. She has singlehandedly changed the way we dress. As the fabulous Mimi Spencer recently said, No one has done more to author the look of the decade than Marant. I would bet my entire collection of Vogue that you wear at least one of the following items: Printed trousers, ankle boots, a studded something. Bashed-about leather. Skinny jeans with an ankle-grazing cut. A beautiful embroidered jacket, a grey marl T-shirt and of course the ubiquitous wedge-heeled trainers that have been imitated so widely but never beaten. Yes? Well, you have already been touched by the power of Marant, and its rock n’ roll bohemian edge has snared you in its fabulous trap.

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Marant, born and raised in Paris, started her eponymous label in 1994 after graduating from the acclaimed Studio Bercot and working her way up through the fashion line. The A/W 2010 collection saw the hit python print pattern while S/S and A/W of 2010 brought us leather motocross trousers and fringed cowboy boots. The collection for H&M edit of the key pieces taken from her archive. So in effect you can get your hands on a reinterpreted piece of fashion history.





That effortless, casual insouciance and very Parisian way of dressing has always remained firmly in my head / look book / magazines but devastatingly never ever in my wardrobe due to its significant price tag, despite the diffusion line Etoile being a slightly more affordable option (if I forewent food).

However, an affordable way to channel Marant / Carine Roitfeld / Lou Doillon and those other French hotties is now all but a finger’s grasp/click away. Plus there is a menswear debut for the Parisian brand, which is exciting in itself, and a campaign that features Milla Jovovich, Doillon, Daria Werbowy and Saskia de Brauw, as well as male models Guillaume Macé, Clément Chabernaud, and Niels Schneider. Zut alors!


Yet, is it a case of so near yet so far as I fear? To purchase a piece of Marant presents the following dilemmas:

  1. Going to my nearest participating H&M store. Gulp. Queuing at dawn, or perhaps camping out and sleeping in a sodden tent, sharpening my elbows, pushing other hungry fashionistas keen for a piece of the Marant magnificence, tussling over a printed sweatshirt or chainmail cuff. Plus, the last time I visited the flagship Oxford Street store to buy something from the Paris Fashion Week Collection, they had an in-store DJ. She was dancing. It was 2.15 pm in the afternoon. Time, energy and age are not on my side - I know only too well what determined twenty-somethings can be like, I used to be one. In addition, I have a very busy day job and thus kicking myself for not booking the day off in advance. There is also The Queuing System in place specifically for the ladieswear collection, which sounds terrifying. There are coloured bracelets, allocated to groups of twenty customers, and the colour determines when it is your time to shop/fight. So I am hoping positively there will be something left post-5pm as opposed to a solitary jacket in a not-my-size size.
  2. Being alert and ready online at 09:00 on the dot, and super sharp with my clicking to purchase via the website. After all, I have done my research, I have planned and plotted and prepared for this deadline. I have studied every single one of the fifty-two iconic pieces, deliberated and subsequently selected what I want, saving ferociously. When it comes to fashion I am a certified Grade-A geek and I hope my hard work will reap the rewards. Should be easy, right? No website crashes, no other clever clogs with the same idea? Reasonably (tut) purchases are limited to a maximum of one item per person ‘so that everyone can buy something from Isabel Marant pour H&M' so this makes my head kind of spin. I also have an afore-mentioned day job that I love and do not think shouting PLEASE WAIT I AM BUYING ISABEL MARANT POUR H&M will cut it.
  3. Purchasing on eBay, although there is talk that the collection has already found its way on to the online auctioning website thanks to some people buying pieces at a preview sale and sneakily putting them online at hugely exaggerated (example). How business savvy. How impertinent.

So it looks like I am going to have to work hard for my fringing and my tribal prints. I am having dreams (nightmares) about the trophy jacket with beaded embroidery (£199) selling out - but I am going to try my damnedest to get it even if I cause myself an injury, a Marant malaise if you will.

I am not sure my nerves are quite up to this but I'll keep you posted. It will be brutal.

Good luck out there…


Isabel Marant for H&M launches in-store and online from November 14.
I consider this collection a gift to my lovers...