I stepped out of Oxford Circus tube station this morning to find myself transported into the past, to some time circa 1992. The windows of H&M were awash with neon colours, garish prints and studded leather jackets. I half-expected to see Christy, Linda, Cindy and Naomi look-a-likes strutting down the street towards me, lip-syncing to George Michael’s Freedom. Sadly, I hadn’t exited a Tube Train Time Machine. Once I saw the massive queue of people still waiting to get into the store, and the smug folk sat next to their giant garish shopping bags while ordering food in Garfunkel’s next door, I realised that it was in fact the launch of the H&M Versace collection.
Since I saw the posters go up for this, I have been wondering if people would actually buy this stuff to wear, or simply ‘invest’ so they could boast to their friends and flog it on eBay later. But then I saw a young fashion student inadvertently pull off the perfect Zoolander impression whilst putting on his newly acquired H&M Versace jacket in the street at lunch time. I just don’t get the appeal. I thought this was me being clueless about fashion. I thought this was me completely failing to understand trends and the benefits of designer/high street collaborations. However, I think it’s much more about me being old enough to have seen all these Versace designs the first time round (albeit only on the pages of fashion magazines). If you are old enough to say “that looks familiar” about a current trend, it’s never going to be all that exciting.
Mind you, as Alexandra Roumbas Goldstein pointed out on my Facebook wall when I whined about the collection being garish, Versace is like that every year.