Jungle Drag

All calm at H&M’s Grange Road store

Now we know why the queue was so short last night. And why, even by the late hour of 9pm this evening at the H&M flagship store on Grange Road, the crowd was woefully thin. As a young guy in a black The Vaccines tee said to his shopping companion again and again—clearly in disbelief, “This is very disappointing, leh!” And then added emphatically, “Balmain got people queue (sic). This one nobody gives a shit!”

Here, the entire area designated as the Kenzo X H&M zone, just on the left side of the main entrance, was not a mad-grab aftermath. Racks were still full with clothes that looked unravished and table tops were still not depleted of its colourful offerings. You would never have guessed that the collection had already gone through more than 12 hours of sale and enjoyed the hype of overnight queues. No shopper was ravenous. It was as if feeding time was over.

Accessories remained neatly arranged on the display top with no hint of an earlier crush

Perhaps the situation at Ion Orchard was better, we thought. As we headed that way to see for ourselves the chaos over there, we bumped into an acquaintance who is, by reputation, a collaboration junkie. “Were you in the queue last night?” we were burning with curiosity. “No lah,” said the Chinese national without her usual you-really-know-me grin. “Don’t want anything,” she explained. “They look like they came out of the night safari!”

Surprising, therefore, that while so many of the fashion set are nocturnal creatures, so few are enticed by what could be party clothes. Kenzo’s Carol Lim and Huberto Leon has assembled a collection (minus the sweaters and coats) that could easily take you from countdown under the stars to downtown under a mirrored ball (admittedly, we’re already in New Year mood). To be honest, we did not think that at first. When the initial pictures of the collab came out, we thought they were clothes from the wardrobe of a gay tiger.

At Ion Orchard, the racks remained well stocked
Faux-leather shopping bags beckoning like Japan’s fukubukuro (福袋), commonly seen at retail stores during the New Year season

And true enough, over at Ion Orchard, H&M’s first-floor corner for their collaboration with Kenzo looked like a fully-catered party no one attended. As with the other store, racks remained packed with merchandise waiting to be seduced by moneyed hands. A few browsers inspected the merchandise, nothing picked. To be sure, the wearable and usable were all sold old, such as T-shirts, mini-skirts, the backpack, and the ‘scuba’ pouch. For the rest, the call of markdown is near.

This morning when we checked our news feed on Flipboard, there was nothing such as last year’s “Terrifying Footage of Shoppers Laying Waste to a Store”. This time, on Us Weekly, just what we had already expected: “Kenzo x H&M Is Already on eBay for Way More Than the Retail Price.” And on eBay they’ll probably stay.

Photos: Zhao Xiangji


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