H&M has unveiled its 2016 Conscious Exclusive Collection. The collection effortlessly merges a sense of history with modernity. Launched to coincide with the opening of the exhibition Fashion Forward - 300 years of Fashion at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, to which it pays homage, the collection conveys an idea of painterly and sophisticated elegance.
The H&M design team has delved into the museum's collections of archival fashions in order to pick up key pieces from the last three centuries of haute couture. The result is a contemporary and artistic collection that is soulful, progressive, conscious and truly unique.
"Working with innovative sustainable materials and ornate embellishment, the collection is a layering of references, shapes and textures topped off by intensely decorative accessories and deco-inspired bijoux," commented Ann-Sofie Johansson, Creative Advisor at H&M.
The fluid and easy silhouette revolves around languid dresses, arty kaftans and sculpted skirts. Prints add a dash of surprise, turning dresses into trompe l'oeil paintings or sculptures. A long ball gown with a deep neckline features a marble draping print; a liquid dress is adorned with a slice of Botticelli's Three Graces. Short dresses and painter blouses ooze nonchalant sophistication, creating an electric and eclectic short-circuit between present and past.
Materials include organic silk, hemp, recycled linen and Tencel blends as well as new innovative materials such as beads and rhinestones made from recycled glass and Denimite − a material made out of recycled worn-out denim, which H&M is the first fashion company to use.