Whimsical, romantic and utterly breath-taking are just a few of the feelings we’re having for H&M’s 2017 designer collaboration with one of our all-time favourite designers, the king of florals: Erdem. MiNDFOOD STYLE caught up with the man himself and H&M’s creative advisor, to find out everything you need to know about the collection that lands in-store on 2 November.
What were the key differences between designing for H&M and the runway?
There was a big difference because when Iâ€™m designing catwalk collection, itâ€™s ruled by one overarching narrative. For ERDEM X H&M, it was much more about reflecting and re-examining the work Iâ€™ve done for the past twelve years, and reinterpreting it in a new way. The narrative for ERDEM X H&Mis much more loose, about a group of friends in an English county house, mixing together their wardrobe and wearing it in their own way.
Beautiful detailing features strongly in the collection. Why was this soÂ important?
Details are everything to me. When I agreed to collaborate, I was adamant that everything would be the most beautiful it could possibly be. I was determined that everything would have the most amazing cut and silhouette, in the most beautiful fabrics with real attention to detail in the trims and finishes.
What is it about flowers and what they imply that keeps you comingÂ back to them again and again?
My thinking with flowers has always been about the feminine. Iâ€™m fascinated by things that imply femininity, whether it is a fabric like lace, floral prints or a
certain silhouette. I think itâ€™s fascinating that a fabric or a cloth can confuse you, and that you canâ€™t tell if it â€˜s 50 years old or 100 years old or brand new. I
love that you can create something digitally and thatâ€™s totally your own, and yet it can cause such confusion.
There is this really beautiful synergy between the menswear andÂ womenswear; they’re almost interchangeable. Was thisÂ intentional?
We designed both collections at the same time, and I love that it was like a conversation that grew between them. I loved the idea of creating a group of
menâ€™s clothes that could be worn by women too. When I started designing the collection, I was thinking about my sister when we were growing up, and how
sheâ€™d wear something functional like a fleece over a tea-dress. Itâ€™s great to think of someone taking the fleece from the menâ€™s collection and wearing it
over the sinuous sequined slip dress.
Strong silhouettes and tailoring are prominent in the menâ€™s andÂ womenâ€™s collections. Why is structure and tailoring important to both
Silhouette is something thatâ€™s so important to me, because at the end of the day I love designing clothes. I love that there are so many different silhouettes
in ERDEM x H&M, especially in the dresses. Tailoring is something that I love, and the tailored tweed blazer for both men and women is my favourite piece
in the whole collection â€“ itâ€™s got such an amazing, neat silhouette.
Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative advisor, H&M.
What was it that drew the H&M team to a collaboration with Erdem for 2017?
Every year, we love to give our customers something completely different, so they can experience all the different sides of fashion. I love that weâ€™re following the immediacy and impact of KENZO with a collection of such incredible beauty and romance. We also like to work with designers at different stages of their career â€“ itâ€™s so exciting that so many people around the world will have their first experience of ERDEM through this collaboration.
How did the collaborative process work?Â
With each of our collaborations, we tell the designers that we want the true essence of their brand. Once we have agreed on the nature of the collaboration, we give them the freedom to design the collection in their own way. Itâ€™s then our task to produce the first samples that would be affordable toH&M customers. When we present these samples to the designers, they often canâ€™t believe what weâ€™ve managed to achieve. Itâ€™s always an exciting moment for us, because it shows how close our worlds can be, and how designer collaborations are a natural part of H&M. Itâ€™s always so great to discover that what we all have in common is the love for fashion, and a desire to share that with the world. We love that our customers get to experience these different worlds!
What was the highlight of working with Erdem?
We have had such an amazing time working with Erdem. Heâ€™s such great company, and I think his warmth and friendliness shows through in his work. He loves people, and has such a great understanding of who wears his clothes â€“ its like they are his friends. Heâ€™s also very specific, and he has an eye for perfection. With each of our collaborations, we want to capture the true essence of the brand. It was exciting for us to work with someone who cared so much about every single detail.
How would you describe the Erdem x H&MÂ collection in just oneÂ sentence?
For me, this collaboration is about pure beauty, itâ€™s like beautification for the troubled world that we live in.
What is your favourite piece from the collection?
It is hard to select only one, I love all of them! I really like the jacquard suit, the tweed garments or the leopard fake fur long coat, together with the jewel bag, making the whole outfit very cool. I love to mix the collection with garments from the menâ€™s collection, such as the silk pyjama.
The ERDEM X H&M collection is available in-store from 2 November. Take a look at our 11 favourite pieces here.Â