Sharing an obsession with your friends can lead to madness, especially when the obsession is fashion. Example #1: Courtney and I and the gladiator combat for the Missoni for Target collection. Example #2: My doomed attempt to get some pieces of the Lanvin for H&M collection. Both projects are part of the recent trend in high-end/low-income partnerships. High-end designers who make impossibly expensive work partner with stores that specialize in "accessible" fashion (i.e., cheap but not Walmart level).
Lanvin clothes are ultra feminine, amazingly cut, but have these pop of exaggeration in their design that makes me endlessly happy.
(This dress costs $4,600.)
(Picture from Lanvin's website. Visit them. See the pretty.)
The Lanvin for H&M collection – pieces starting at $30, ending at $200 -- happened way back when I was hugely pregnant. We knew we had to go early, like pre-dawn early, to get into line and that there'd probably be people who stayed overnight. Unlike Target's Lord of Flies approach to their collections (let everyone pile things into their carts and have fist fights over the product, awesome!), H&M controls their shit. They have a whole system with wrist bands dividing people into groups and each shift only gets a certain amount of time to shop before they gotta get gone.
The best way to deal with these situations is to know exactly what you want and strategize so you can grab those items and then get the hell out. So I recruited Psycho Bambi, Lolo, and Husband-cat to form a crack team of fashion assassins. Our plan was simple, Lolo and I would catch the first train to SF, around 4:30 am. Husband-cat would act as back-up to Lolo in case she didn't wake up (yes, he is that awesome). Psycho Bambi got off of work at 7 am and would join us in line as soon as she could. If she didn't make it, Lolo/Husband-cat would get her must-have items. Then breakfast and showing off our spoils and sleep.
By now you're probably think I'm a lunatic to even want to participate, but honestly, I thought it would be kind of fun. This seemed like it was going to be an "experience" and my friends, bless them, agreed. Psycho Bambi was, of course, completely down. She was the one who won me over to high fashion as an art form and in and of itself. She and I dissected the collection so we could laser in on the few items that we liked and ignore the fluff (i.e. cheap looking items--cheaply made is fine, cheap looking is not).
Lolo, stalwart campaigner that she is, doesn't even care about high fashion, but thought it would be an interesting sociological experiment. I called her gibbering about plans and, after ascertaining this wasn't some hormonal mood swing, she called all the local H&M Stores and grilled them on their policy vis-à-vis the opening day schedule. Which was good because it turns out I had no idea how the system worked and asked all the wrong questions.
was so excited. Our plan was genius. We were awesome. Even if we ended up with one bracelet and half a dress, it would be a great story.
You know what ended up with?
At eight months, I thought I had endured all the nasty side effects of pregnancy I was going to (baby fur, anyone?). That was not correct. That night I discovered intestinal discomfort while pregnant can soar to unimaginably painful heights. When my alarm went off at 4 am I realized no matter how great a plan we had, there was nothing on earth that was going to get me out of bed on two hours of sleep. So I cancelled and passed out. Woke up to a message from Psycho Bambi. She had been delayed at work and by the time she got there the store had been cleaned out. I saw it later that day and it was a sad little white room with empty shelves and naked mannequins, the odd scrap of price tag or trampled hangar littering the floor.
It was a pathetic end to a glorious idea. None of us have been interested enough in the subsequent collaborations to bother reviving our plot. I did eventually have a happy ending though. After a couple of months of watching the hated e-bay resellers I ended up with a Lanvin piece at close-to-original-prices.
I get complimented every time I wear it.
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