Like many thousands who couldn't queue up the night before, I set my alarm for the morning of the Isabel Marant pour H&M launch, endured the morning madness that all mothers go through daily and girded my loins for the impossible task of acquiring a few pieces from the collection. Sure enough, the website staggered and groaned trying to withstand an avalanche of eager Isabel Marant fans and collapsed even before many of us could check out. Pathetic.
Having been through this laughable drama during the Lanvin collaboration, I decided to take the alternative and slightly more obsolete route - the telephone. Et voilà! Everything was still available but by then, I was shaking with nerves knowing that there were calls backing up. I hastily placed my order after desperately trying to dredge up that list of items in my cart before the website went kaput.
Fast forward a week later.....and tons of horror stories about the massively slow and inefficient delivery service..... I was coming back from a walk today when I saw an unfamiliar car on the street with a man poking a gadget with a stylus pen. Being the desperado that I am, I pounced on the poor fellow, made him dug around the boot of his car and success! My humongous package.
After that looooong spiel, here's the proper review that I meant to churn out on this blog. Like ALL Isabel Marant collections, the sizing is like the English weather. Inconsistent. The workmanship on the pieces I'd received was impressive. Sure, there were a few pulled thread etc but overall, I couldn't fault it. The garments were well made and so were the fabrics. I didn't think they were all too different from the Etoile collection and perhaps even the Mainline except that the prices do not induce heart attacks.
The beaded jacket is thick and luxurious. It's as well made as the highly desired Flana jacket from the Spring/Summer 2010 collection (correct me if I'm wrong). Now, this is where I went wrong. I thought that the European size 36 corresponds to a UK 8. Wrong. It was UK 10 and since I'd ordered from the U.K website, the jacket came up teeny tiny. The tuxedo blazer with satin lapels is actually heavy and fairly substantial. I was rather surprised to find out that it was made of 100% wool. The EU 36/UK10 was way too big on me. I could've done with 1 to 2 sizes down. Bummer.
Thankfully, having worn Isabel Marant sweatshirts for years, I was experienced enough to order a larger size. I was lucky to nab both the grey and burgundy and yes, they're pretty cropped. If given a second chance, I would've ordered 2 sizes up (EU 40/UK 14). I adore the brushed cotton interior, slimmer sleeves and narrower armholes which can be surprisingly hard to find.
The white lace top was surprisingly flattering but then again, I'd ordered 2 sizes up (EU 40/ UK 14). The fabric is fairly thick too and nothing like the flimsy ones that I normally see in the stores. The EU 36/UK 10 reversible metallic bomber jacket made me look like a fake Mr Muscle. It was massive. It would definitely work on someone who normally wears UK 12-14/EU 40-42.
The one thing that I was dying to get my hands on was the sweat pants. Yes, yes.... the addiction hasn't waned on bit. I was severely disappointed. The cut was similar to the one I'd returned (due to a flaw in the fabric) which I'd adored dearly. However, the fabric is so thin. The cut is fabulous but thanks to the legging type material, they're plastered to my rather hefty thighs and ass as if they'd been glued on. I was silly to order a pair in EU 36/UK 8. Double bummer.
I'm planning to return both the metallic bomber jacket (EU 36/ UK 10) and black lace top (EU 38/ UK 12). Before I do so, let me know if you want to buy any of these. The price will be the same as retail (bomber jacket £79.99 and lace top £59.99) but please include an extra 3% for those who pay by Paypal. Postage will be extra.