It’s been two years since Swedish High Street fast-fashion giants H&M unveiled their first ‘Grey Concept’. The Grey Collection, fronted in November 2012 by shaven headed Brazilian model Alice Dellal, was a darker, edgier concept for H&M’s sub-brand ‘Divided’ that caters for the younger, ‘trendier’ customers, unlike the rest of the designer inspired pieces at a fraction of the cost as well as much needed basics. The initial Grey Concept was well-received, therefore Hennes & Mauritz decided to re-launch a Divided Grey Collection this September, with clothes, accessories and shoes making up the re-release. Originally, the first Grey Collection was divided into women’s and menswear, which faced some criticism as to the lack of androgyny, something dark fashion fans stated was essential for this gothic grunge inspired collection. This time however, H&M focused solely on a womenswear collection for Autumn / Winter 2014.
The whole collection is incredibly reminiscent of All Saints, whose leather jackets and expert drapery are much coveted. Due to their high-street label and thus lower budget, there is a strong emphasis on faux leather, from skirts, to trousers and jackets, plus a plethora of leather-like details on many of the dresses in the collection. This not only keeps the cost lower, it also means the collection is vegan friendly. Gothic inspired motifs are theme throughout, inclusive of crosses, as well as lace accents, which is pleasantly good quality. The grunge element of the collection is seen in the oversized silhouettes, such as the Maxi skirts and dresses, the varying degree of ripped denim – from simple knee slits, to fully shredded – and Dr Marten inspired boots, again faux leather and vegan friendly.
Autumn Winter ’14 ‘The Grey Collection’ by H&M is most definitely a high-street adaptation of the continuing grunge trend, and is surprisingly dark and well designed whilst keeping the reasonable prices H&M are famous for.
‘The Grey Collection’ is available now from larger H&M and H&m Divided only stores, as well as online.
Words: Jade Bailey-Dowling (www.nouvelle-noire.co.uk)