Fashion

Step up for style

“That instant when your fingers curl round the handles of a shiny, uncreased bag—and all the gorgeous new things inside it become yours. What’s it like? It’s like going hungry for days, then cramming your mouth full of warm buttered toast,” said Rebecca Bloomwood, protagonist of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series. And that’s the feeling I get when I walk into the new H&M store in the city. The Swedish brand is finally here at Express Avenue mall and throws open its glass doors to eager fast fashion fans today.

The first store in the country launched in Delhi last October, followed by Bangalore, Mohali, Pune and Mumbai. Chennai is outlet number 12. Spread over two levels and 34,000 sq ft, it has clothes and accessories for kids and men on the top level, while the ground floor is exclusively for women.

The Holiday Collection is currently on display. And according to Dhatri Bhatt, Head PR, H&M India, what’s stocked here is the same as other stores worldwide. No wonder then that there’s a reindeer headband and a substantial selection of knitted and woollen wear, thick jackets and hoodies. These may not exactly be Chennai weather-friendly, but you can always stock up now for that European holiday planned for the summer. Among the all-season wearable trends for us are the cold shoulders, cut-out dresses, shorts and tops with scalloped hemlines and bodysuits. While the greys, blacks and whites are in abundance, what stands out are the pieces in rust orange, pretty pink and emerald green — three hot new colours included by the brand this season. The accessory department has quirky headpieces, Venetian masks in shimmery silver, blingy gold and dazzling red, hats, chokers and dramatic neckpieces. According to Dhatri, almost every day new stock is being added.

But the only disappointing news is that the vibrant Kenzo X H&M collaboration that launched on Thursday will not be available here. “That’s because collaborations need to launch on the same date everywhere,” says Dhatri. We’ve missed it by two days! Let’s keep our fingers crossed for further fun collabs. But for now, here are a few of my top picks from the store, in case your mind is addled with all the choices around.

Emerald-green cold shoulder top with full sleeves: Elegant with an edgy feel. Wear it to a formal dinner, for a wild bachelorette party or even to the beach — this will never feel out of place anywhere.

Cream dress shorts with golden button detailing: This one is the Taylor Swift of the shorts world. It’s girly, smart and flirty.

Wrapover top: This has all the potential to become the go-to black top for all occasions. And if you have great shoulders, all the more reason to pick this up and show them off.

Pearl white satin top: With a high neck and flounces along the arms, it’s got a Victorian feel about it. Team it with a pair of skinny jeans and boots, and you’ll look like you’ve just walked out of a cover shoot.

Printed boots: This one’s for little girls and has 3D printed blue and red flowers popping out against a black surface. Too bad they don’t have it in our sizes.

Hairy feet slippers: These sit rather proudly in the men’s section. In the shape of chubby feet made of pile with a faux fur lining, stepping into them feels like walking on clouds.

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Printable version | May 3, 2021 7:41:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fashion/Step-up-for-style/article16436638.ece

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