My H&M fash­ion jour­nal By our fash­ion di­rec­tor Chrisna de Bruyn

Mem­o­ries last a life­time, and that cer­tainly is the case with GLAMOUR fash­ion di­rec­tor Chrisna de Bruyn, whose three days at Paris Fash­ion Week will never be for­got­ten.

Glamour (South Africa) - - Front Page -

DAY 1

Ev­ery­one has a dream, and mine has al­ways been to ex­pe­ri­ence Paris dur­ing fash­ion week. And yet, when my dream fi­nally came true – thanks to an in­vi­ta­tion to at­tend the H&M A/ W 16 Stu­dio Col­lec­tion show – my first re­ac­tion was panic. What am I go­ing to wear? For­tu­nately, I soon re­mem­bered the fash­ion di­rec­tor code: black, black and any colour as long as it’s black. So I packed ac­cord­ingly, be­ing sure to in­clude my trusty sneak­ers, chic an­kle boots and a sturdy leather back­pack.

One overnight flight later, I landed in Paris and was taken to my ho­tel: the beau­ti­ful In­ter­con­ti­nen­tal Paris Le Grand. Adorned with red vel­vet couches, gold pil­lars and banks of mar­ble, I was happy to call it home for the next three days.

Gor­geous as the ho­tel was, the fash­ion cap­i­tal beck­oned. I quickly fresh­ened up, grabbed my Canon G5X cam­era from ORMS, Cape Town, and headed out. I hadn’t counted on how freez­ing it would be, so my first stop was H&M Paris for leg­gings, a ribbed polo neck, scarf and gloves. Snow­proofed and ready to go, I spent the day wan­der­ing the streets of Rue de Rivoli and Boule­vard Hauss­mann, which is lined with de­signer bou­tiques.

As the street lamps went on, it was time for me to re­turn to my room where a scented bub­ble bath awaited, fol­lowed by a lovely night of Parisian dream­ing.

This was the day for cul­ture and peo­ple-watch­ing in the city’s trendi­est area, Le Marais. Two of my favourite stops were the Musée Pi­casso art gallery and the fash­ion­able Char­lotte café.

There was just enough time for me to get my hair braided in a charm­ing and quaint sa­lon be­fore head­ing back to the ho­tel to change into a black silk shift dress and boots for the big night.

I was treated to a spec­tac­u­lar sup­per by our host­ess Ameli­aMay Woud­stra, PR man­ager for H&M SA, at Le Grand Col­bert, which has hosted the likes of mod­els Lara Stone and Karlie Kloss, and fea­tured in the film Some­thing’s Gotta Give. They served the per­fect win­ter meal: veal stew with a great red wine.

Af­ter sup­per, it was time to join the 600 guests for the H&M A/ W16 Stu­dio Col­lec­tion show at the Bourse de com­merce, a mag­nif­i­cent domed build­ing

DAY 2

used as a cham­ber of com­merce.

Even the most minute of de­tails were per­fec­tion, and you could feel the an­tic­i­pa­tion in the air as su­per­mod­els Freja Beha Erich­sen, Amber Val­letta and Jour­dan Dunn marched out to a live choir singing a song cre­ated by Ni­co­las Godin of the band Air.

Of course, the main at­trac­tion was the stun­ning clothes, which in­cluded sexy lace slip dresses, wide-legged trousers, pin­striped suits, long silk scarves, dou­ble­breasted coats and my per­sonal favourite, a cobalt blue, vel­vet and gold-de­tailed dress.

Af­ter the run­way show, the col­lec­tion was cel­e­brated with cham­pagne, canapés and so­cial­is­ing with an A-list crowd that in­cluded Ciara, Emma Roberts, Kate Mara and leg­endary pho­tog­ra­pher Ellen von Un­werth. What an hon­our to meet one of my heros!

Soon it was time to head home and curl up in my warm bed.

DAY 3

Af­ter see­ing the clothes on the run­way, to­day I would be al­lowed to get up close and per­sonal with the col­lec­tion. One feather-light crois­sant later, I was en route to the splen­did Westin ho­tel where H&M had in­vited the press to see the gar­ments prop­erly and to meet mem­bers of the de­sign team, in­clud­ing cre­ative ad­vi­sor Ann-sofie Jo­hans­son.

“This col­lec­tion is all about the strength and beauty of women, and how we ex­press that power through our style,” ex­plains Ann-sofie. “We were in­spired by our Swedish her­itage and hand­i­craft, and those whim­si­cal folk­loric el­e­ments com­bine beau­ti­fully with pow­er­ful tai­lor­ing. Bold de­tails like Ar­gen­tinian gau­cho hats and fauxs­nake­skin boots give added drama.”

If I loved the col­lec­tion dur­ing the show, I loved it even more on the rails, where I could take in de­tails like the sil­ver chain em­bel­lish­ments on dresses, coats and boots, and the in­tri­cate em­broi­dery on blouses.

Af­ter a won­der­ful ex­pe­ri­ence, it was time for my au revoir – a fan­tas­ti­cally sweet one at the pâtis­serie An­gelina. With rich hot choco­late and di­et­de­fy­ing pastries, it was the per­fect end to my H&M Paris ad­ven­ture.

The leg­endary Palais Garnier opera house, with its gilded stat­ues and op­u­lent in­te­rior, is one of my favourite build­ings in Paris.

Home away from home: my Napoleon Iii-style bed­room. Walk­ing shoes on!

Lead­ing el­e­ments from the show: longsleeved dresses, tai­lored cuts, floorskim­ming hems, pin­striped suits and luxe vel­vet.

The lo­ca­tion for the H&M A/W16 Stu­dio Col­lec­tion show: the Bourse de com­merce.

H&M SA PR man­ager Amelia-may Woud­stra out­side Le Grand Col­bert.

The show

What an af­ter-party! With fash­ion pho­tog­ra­pher Ellen von Un­werth (above) and Ciara (right).

Key looks from the col­lec­tion in­cluded dou­ble-breasted coats, wide-legged trousers, tai­lored suits, soft white shirts, vin­tage-feel maxidresses, sen­sa­tional red faux snake­skin and prints rang­ing from mas­cu­line stripes to fem­i­nine flo­rals.

The show­room

I cap­tured my time in Paris with the Canon 5GX, spon­sored by ORMS, Cape Town. This com­pact cam­era may look dainty, but it’s packed with power, de­liv­er­ing one high-qual­ity shot af­ter the other, even when it’s on an au­to­matic set­ting. My favourite fea­tures: the eye­level dis­play, which al­lows for pre­cise shoot­ing, the auto fo­cus, for when my hands were shiv­er­ing in the cold, and the selfie screen, be­cause it’s so easy to use. It can shoot videos, too! For more in­for­ma­tion about the cam­era and ORMS, head to orms­di­rect.co.za.

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