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Five cool fashion collaborations coming this spring

— by Helen Johnson

Orsola De Castro for Mother of Pearl x Monica Vinader – Photography: Sam Copeland

 

Not a week passes at TNMA HQ without the arrival of a mailer promoting a new fashion collaboration. The latest mash-up of various designers, brands, artists, athletes and celebrities, ranges from the brilliant to the downright bizarre. Anyone remember Star Wars for Uggs? Thought not. And I doubt you’re interested in Greggs for Primark (yes, really). That said, there’s something quite appealing about a fashion collaboration when the pairing makes complete sense. These partnerships provide shoppers with the opportunity to discover labels they might not usually have access to (I’m thinking Uniqlo x Jil Sander), and give fashion brands the chance to reach new customers, design with a fresh perspective and research more innovative production processes. Plus, there’s obviously the huge marketing potential of a much-hyped, exclusive collection, promoted by both sides. Anyhow. When done well, it’s a winning formula. And who doesn’t appreciate successful teamwork…

As the fashion industry recovers from the pandemic, there’s an absolute boom in collaborations this spring. Here are five of the most stylish partnerships:

 

All pieces Iris Apfel x H&M

 

Iris Apfel for H&M

To celebrate her 100th birthday, style icon Iris Apfel has collaborated with H&M. As you’d expect, this playful collection pays homage to the New York star’s penchant for eye-popping colour, bold jewellery and maximalist prints. All materials used are recycled, or sustainably sourced and each garment and accessory has been made with circularity in mind. ‘Style is not about spending a lot of money’ says Apfel, ‘It’s not about what or who you wear, but how you feel when wearing something. Style is about self-expression and, above all, attitude. I think that H&M is fabulous and I love doing high style at affordable prices.’

Shop the Iris Apfel X H&M, priced from £19.99 to £229.99, from 31 March at Hm.com – I’ll definitely be checking out the costume jewellery.

 

 

Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo

I must admit to feeling a bit meh about another Ines de la Fressange for Uniqlo collection (apparently this collaboration is now in it’s 17th season..) but actually this spring’s offering is really quite nice. Inspired by memories of travelling around Marrakech as a child, the collection has a looser, more relaxed feel with wafty cotton dresses and gathered linen skirts, though there’s still plenty of Parisian Chic, including the tapered cotton trousers and open-collared shirts. As you would expect from Uniqlo, the prices are reasonable, think £59.50 for a jacket and £49.90 for a dress and £29.90 for a shirt. These collections always sell out quickly, so act fast if you want a piece of the action.

And don’t miss the new Uniqlo U+ collection – the brand’s in-house line helmed by designer/ artistic director Christophe Lemaire. The silhouettes in the range are all slouchy but tailored, with a modern gentlewoman vibe which I’m here for.

Available online and in selected stores now. Uniqlo U+ online now.

 

Jenna Lyons for Mejuri

It’s a joy to see Jenna Lyons back on the scene. I’ve missed the fashion heroine who informed us that leopard print is a neutral and taught us how to pattern clash. She’s been busy in the post J-Crew era, launching a false eyelash brand named LoveSeen, starring on a HBO series STYLISH with Jenna Lyons and working across various interiors projects. This month she has collaborated with jewellery brand Mejuri on a three-piece collection for International Women’s Day.  There are two signet rings and an extra long herringbone chain necklace in gold vermeil. ‘It’s nice to feel like at my age I’m getting a second chance to kind of reinvent who I am and how I show up in the world,’ says Lyons, ‘That’s kind of amazing.’ We think so, too.

Prices are £595 for the Signet Pinky Ring, £125 for the Oynx signet ring and  £175 for the chain necklace. All available now.

 

 

Celia Birtwell for Next

Legendary textile designer Celia Birtwell has teamed up with Next on a 20-piece collection featuring some of her most memorable prints. Now aged 81, Birtwell has had a long and fabulous career. Married to Ossie Clarke in the seventies, the pair made some of the best floaty chiffon dresses, ever. Designs loved by the rock and roll crowd, including Bianca Jagger, Marianne Faithfull and Pattie Boyd. Over the following years, Birtwell continued to create bespoke prints various fashion brands, was awarded a CBE for her contribution to the the fashion industry and released a beautiful book detailing her extraordinary work. I once interviewed the softly spoken Northerner and can confirm that she is as lovely as you’d hope. I’m sure this latest venture will be a great success.

Available now and priced from £24.

 

Orsola De Castro wearing Mother of Pearl x Monica Vinader jewellery. Photography: Sam Copeland

 

Monica Vinader x Mother of Pearl

Both jewellery designer Monica Vinader and Amy Powney, Mother of Pearl’s creative director, are innovators in the field of sustainability, so who better to team up on a line of ethical jewellery? This gorgeous, 18-piece collection has been created using recycled gold vermeil and sterling silver, galaxy diamonds ( these grey-coloured gems are often thrown away for being imperfect) and knobbly Keshi pearls. Each piece of completely unique jewellery has been inspired by natural forms, such as the ‘tangled roots of a tree and misshapen pebbles on the beach.’ And if that’s not commitment enough, the pair selected five women dedicated to making the world a better place, to model the collection – including Friend of TNMA and founder of Fashion Revolution Orsola De Castro (shown above wearing the Keshi pearl necklace, the Keshi pearl and cast necklace and the pearl bracelet) – beautifully captured by acclaimed photographer Sam Copeland.

Priced from £80, and available now.

 

 

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