French haute couture… American petits prices!

I still lived in the fashion’s capital when Karl Lagerfeld, the ultimate name in French high fashion, released an exclusive line of clothes for H&M. His collection of 30 pieces, including a little black dress, had parisiennes in a frenzy and sold out in less then 30 minutes. The genius behind Chanel explained that the idea was “quite modern” and thus appealing to him. It was the first such collaboration for the Swedish retail giant but it was certainly not the last. Since 2004, Hennes & Mauritz has collaborated with several international designers and fashion icons, from Stella McCartney to Madonna or Jimmy Choo and Comme des Garçons.  

The latest  French fashion designer to lend her talent to H&M is Sonia Rykiel, known to Americans as the Queen of Knits for her beautiful sweaters. In December 2009, she introduced a lingerie line for H&M and is following up with an affordable collection of her signature knitwear. It will premiere in the District’s downtown H&M store (1025 F St. NW) on February 20th and feature lots of great pieces including a colorful dresses, bows, sweaters and graphic stripes. A new first for H&M, some of Sonia Rykiel’s pieces will also be available for girls.

Around the same time as Sonia Rykiel’s line, l’enfant terrible of French fashion, Jean-Paul Gaultier himself, will also have a collection of affordable clothes, available from March 7 to April 11 online and at 250 Targets across the USA (the Columbia Heights Target was unable to confirm whether they will be carrying the collection…stay tuned for updates!). The Gaultier line will be the third one in Target’s series of Designer Collaborations, following on the footsteps of Alexander McQueen and Anna Sui, and feature his signature Breton-inspired navy stripes as well as a few bathing suits pieces.

French Haute couture at petits prices? Who doesn’t love a bargain? I know I have my eyes on Gaultier’s ($59.99) cute yellow alter dress and will be certain to get to H&M early on the 20th to grab a black $39.95 Mon Pull Rykiel sweater.

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