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Welcome to rachelsays... The blog of Rachel Lewis, containing my thoughts and musings on illustration, design, fashion, music, cakey-bakey goodness, culture and things that I generally find cool. There's also a good chance my own illustration work will pop up on here.

All work on this blog is copyright to me unless I state that it isn't. Obviously. Don't do stealing, kids.

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

Coveting: The Garden Collection at H&M

First off, love that type treatment. Love love love.

It's spring everyone! The cold and rain could've fooled us, but the clocks went forward, and the high street has gone into floral overdrive. It's inevitable; out comes the sun (sometimes...) and in comes all the 'florals with a twist of... grunge/irony/retro/futuristic...etc' (*delete as appropriate). This collection however, is unashamedly florals with a hippie twist, with an even better twist of sustainability! Hurrah. Rachel is suddenly much more interested. Boasting recycled polyester and organic cotton, it's not ground-breaking, but it's certainly a breathe of fresh air, especially when we all know (and, admit it, try to ignore) the facts about how much virgin fabric is used by the fashion industry every year, and so forth. It's shocking, but we still don't stop the fast fashion train. I'm guilty of it, for sure. I feel guilty every time I shop at Primark, or every time I think about how many tonnes of textiles go to Landfill every year. (you can put clothes in your recycling bin you know peeps, I just recycled loads of old bras, things that really can't go to oxfam!) Even that though, is getting ridiculous, read this article about the steady increase in our clothes usage that means recycling plants are full to the brim with cheap, barely worn, unwanted clothes.

So at least H&M are making some headway, and bringing recycled polyester into the mainstream. Here's an avant-garde thought, high street, how about all of your clothes using recycled materials? I know, crazy. But H&M prove that it an be done, and it hasn't even changed the price points in any way that I can notice. Let's take a look at the collection, it fuses a bit of romance and exotic garden, and has some really great pieces. I popped in to H&M yesterday after seeing the collection online, and these are my favourites:

Love this floral body; the right mix of the underwear/outerwear trend and inky florals. Would look great under a loose cardigan. £12.99.
I love love love this vest top. Nudes are of course massively on trend right now, and I love it, it's such a pretty, girlie look. And the swirly rose relief pattern gives it a bit of interest without taking away from the fragility of it. £12.99.
These shorts are so cute. Not sure how they'd look on my terrible legs, I didn't get the chance to try them on (either couldn't see them, or they weren't there), but I like them all the same. £14.99. And they'd go great with the vest top.
Oh em gee, I love this dress so much! It's so pretty. I didn't get the chance to try it on though because again, I couldn't see it in my local branch! Damn you, Milton Keynes. Either it had all gone or they're not carrying the whole collection. I think I'm going to have to hit Oxford St after work this week and see what they've got. You'd have to wear nude underwear under it obviously, and it wouldn't go with everyone's skin tone, but it's great. So feminine. £19.99. Bargain!
This however, is my favourite of the whole collection. I think it epitomises it, with the clashing florals, girly empire line, hippie flowy dress and BIIIIG pockets. I am only little and I love big pockets! ^.^ Especially in dresses like this, you can just shove your hands in and stand around in faux-nervousness, looking cute. ALAS, they'd run out of my size!! They had 8's and 14's. No 10's or 12's. Unless they were lurking in the changing rooms. I'm usually a 10 in dresses but H&M has been coming up really small recently on me so I'm pretty sure I'd be a 12, but I'd want to try it I think. Anyone else finding that? I bought jeggings in a size 14 and they're basically too small. WTF. I'm not a size 16. No way. Anyway, this is the way to wear it:
Except I'd wear it with a really light denim cropped jacket, and some pastel-y tights until it warms up a bit. £24.99. With this scarf:
Which is cute and is only £7.99. A great way to wear the nude trend if you're worried about getting washed out. And I'd also wear it with...
These shoes! I haven't got any new pumps for this season and this might be a good way to start. It's almost pump-wearing weather! £9.99, cheap as chips.

I think this collection has got some really good mix and match pieces, but too many tunics (not a fan of the tunic...) and not enough skirts I think. I would've liked some more high-waisted, billowy skirt I think. And maybe the odd denim jacket. But I think it's great that they are using these sustainable materials, and hope they continue to do so. Click here to view the collection! You'll have to buy it on shops though, H&M still don't have online shopping.

Another great thing that H&M are doing online though, is the Style Guide - I really like the part where you can drag your favourite items from the guide across (it tells you the total cost) and then you can 'blog' the image - although what it really does is send you a jpg of your selection, you have to actually blog it. It's a nice touch though. Here's my quick selection:
See, the awesome floral dress with a denim jacket. Looks nice :)

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