Arriving at the left bank venue on Wednesday night, hundreds of guests were ushered along a candlelit path to a vast marquee, in which room after room had been transformed into what appeared to be a luxury hotel or manor house.
Waiters served champagne as guests were guided through each room: a
hall with a grand piano followed by a dining room with table laid out with china, crystalware and silver candelabra. The floor in the bathroom sported slabs of marble, the kitchen was filled with chefs at work, and in the lobby, a roaring log fire.
The museum is dedicated to the works of French sculptor August Rodin and its adjoining garden considered a tourist hotspot, nestled close to Les Invalides.
Black dominated the 25 mostly barely-there looks teamed with over-the-knee black boots and caps. Standing out were a long floaty sheer red dress, pink ostrich feather skirt and black evening gown with a thirties style fringe.
H&M produced video of the event
All 25 looks are due to be in the shops by September.
US Vogue editor Anna Wintour has spoken openly about many designers need to “edit” their collections, in part to shorten productions time so the lag between catwalk and shop is as short as possible.
As an established budget fashion giant, turnover may not pose such a logistical challenge for H&M as it does for smaller brands, yet the sparsity of looks in Wednesday night’s outing seemed to aim for weight over breadth.
H&M head of design Ann-Sofie Johansson said in a video promo that her team had aimed for a toyboy look, with a uniform feel.
Swedish Elle magazine’s model of the year Frida Gustavsson led the troupe of mannequins, which included Brasilian Isabeli Fontani, whose super-bronzed skin in last summer’s H&M swimwear advertisements had anti-cancer groups choking on their coffee.
After head designer Johansson and her team took a bow, the decor slid back to reveal a dancefloor, to whoops of joy from enthusiastic fashionistas.
Heavyweight fashion reviewers Style.com had not on Thursday reviewed the Wednesday night show, which competed for attention on the jampacked fashion-week schedule with influential prêt-a-porter veterans such as Dries van Noten and Balenciaga.
Yet several socialites managed to make their way to the opulent bash, including French actress Virginie Ledoyen, her Australian colleague Melissa George, British models and celebrity offspring Liz Jagger and Daisy Lowe.
Influential former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld was also in attendance.