Sunday, April 08, 2007

Review: Madonna for H&M

Although she hasn't been on the top of her game in a number of years, I still love and really admire Madonna. When you consider the many female pop artists who've been manipulated by family, the music industry and the media, only to fizzle into obscurity (or worse, drug addiction, depression, abusive relationships, etc), Madonna's successful three decade run is all the more impressive. She's been very smart about her image and career without ever taking the safe route, and she's done it all by herself, on her own terms.

Madonna rightly deserves to be considered one of the great fashion icons for the variety of styles she's embraced over the years and her willingness to take risks when it comes to clothes (cone bra, anyone?). On top of this, she has a wonderful playful attitude about clothes and embraces the escapism that costumes allow. So it seemed like a great move by H&M to have Madonna design their latest line, called "M by Madonna." A couple of weeks ago I stopped by my local mall to check out the new line, and here's what I found.

The collection definitely has it's hits and misses. I liked the strong, sleek lines of a lot of the pieces, and the "grown up" look of the collection (an aspect often missing from celebrity designer lines). Two of my favorite outfits were this black shirt/belt/pencil skirt combo and this cool white trench:

Regular readers know what a sucker I am for a trench, but this one is a real beauty, and I love that it's white, a color you don't usually see in outerwear. I like that a lot of the outfits present a sexy take on office wear (Madonna is quite the businesswoman herself), but some of them went too far into the realm of fembot secretary, like this outfit:

This is a little too office dominatrix for me, you just about expect someone wearing this to pull a whip out of their purse. There's definitely a wide range when it comes to the level of taste in the collection, as this um, catsuit shows.

Honestly, who but Fergie would be seen in something like this? Some of the pieces were also just not very flattering, like this minidress:

I like the disco-queen idea behind this dress, but I just can't see it looking good on anyone. It also brings me to a major problem with this collection, which is that in person most of the pieces look cheap. Of course, when you buy something from an H&M or Forever 21 you expect that, but when an outfit that is already bordering the line between trashy and sexy is made of low quality materials, there's not much going for it.

In addition, the pieces in this collection are not cheap. The trench retails for $99, a sweater for $79, a belt for $34 and trousers for $60. For those prices I would expect better quality than what H&M offers. Still, there are a number of pieces that are worth checking out in person (I definitely would advise against buying anything online unless you've seen it in the store, as the quality really varies). As of last week, the H&M near me still had most of the styles and sizes, but I've heard that stores are selling out, so if there's something that catches your eye on the website (which is awesome, by the way), go soon before they're all gone.

And if you haven't already seen it, here's the commercial for the collection, which is really entertaining.


Anonymous said...

Hi Meg, I really like this line for H&M, very wearable and versatile stuff, clean lines, flattering cuts...Have a great Easter Day!

Aruek said...

I was in an H&M recently and I accidently wandered into the Madonna section and got sticker shock. Didn't end up buying any of the Madonna items but I did find two cute dresses.

If you have time, I'd love to see a post on swimwear. I usually wear two-pieces, but I've been seeing a lot of cute one-pieces this year. However, I'm not sure if a one-piece would be a good/feasible option for me. I have a long torso and short legs, and I'm worried that a one-piece would emphasize my torso. Also I tend to need a bikini top that's 2 sizes larger than the bikini bottom. Do you think I could I pull off a one-piece?

Thanks and keep up the great work! I love reading your blog.

Gwen >> My Relationship Resume said...

Thanks for the rundown on the M collection at H&M as I won't be able to visit a store for another month at the earliest. =( Without a local H&M, I haven't been able to catch the collections and find it outrageously unfair (okay, just a bit unfair) for a mark-up because of the celebrity endorsement. I love the basic pieces and the basic prices.

Catherine said...

Aww, I like the "office dominatrix" outfit haha.

give_a_hoot said...

hey meg, i have been reading for a while now. great job with all you have done so far! I also was wondering if you may have time to do something featuring swimwear- i am mid 20's pretty normal body , i can wear a two peice as long as it is not too crazy revealing. My problem is finding cute suits or bikini tops that don't have too much padding but i need an underwire also, and somewhat cute! i know its a tall order (: any input would be appreciated- thanks !

Meg said...

give a hoot- Yup, I'm working on a swimsuit series now, it should be up in the next week or two!

Teri said...

I love the white trench coat too. I would really like to feel it in person, as I agree with some of your comments on how many of the H & M items are not made up to my standard. And I wouldn't want to spend the $99 on a poor quality coat.