PARIS, FRANCE – MARCH 02: A model walks the runway during the H&M show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2016/2017 on March 2, 2016 in Paris, France. (Photo by Antonio de Moraes Barros Filho/WireImage)
H&M paraded out its high-end line to close the first day of Paris Fashion Week, selecting some of the world’s most famous models for its show. This isn’t the first brand you’d think of when imagining the elegance and grandeur that surrrounds Paris Fashion Week, but it’s certainly not their first rodeo down the hallowed runways shared by top couturiers. As the distinction between Fast Fashion and High Fashion becomes continually blurred due to the saturation in the market, it comes as no surprise that Fast Fashion behemoth H&M would be showing in Paris fashion week. In fact, this is the company’s twelfth time showing, illustrating that budget fashion in no means has to look cheap. The Swedish high street monolith which has 3,900 stores globally has however shown its ‘Studio’ collection here since 2013. Last night’s affair took the brand’s usual approach, flexing its financial might with a flurry of stars on the front row (Emma Roberts, Kate Mara, Atlanta de Cadenet, Ciara) as well as an impressively high (and expensive) calibre of supermodels in the show, which was staged underneath the beautifully painted dome of the Bourse de Commerce in the centre of the city. Inevitably, there was a message to be heard. The theme for the show was diversity, with the casting covering all ages and sizes. Amber Valletta, Freja Beha Erichsen, Anja Rubik, Hari Nef, and Andreja Pejic were among the faces on the runway, making the point that any woman can be an H&M shopper. Our favorite turn, though, goes to the transcendental Pat Cleveland, who showed the millennials seated in the front row what they missed from her ’70s heyday. Alas, not every model looked quite so graceful—a fact we’ll chalk up to the slippery-looking floor and the sky-high boots. According to attendees, multiple models took tumbles during the finale, and even Anna Cleveland, Pat’s model daughter, who’s been known to practically dance down the runway, stumbled midway through the show. Yet, in despite of the small hiccups, the brand has shown that it is something to recokoned with.