By Alexandra Suhner, London Editor | Week 30 | 02.12.2008
Following an extremely successful collaboration with avant garde Japanese brand Comme des garcons, H&M, the Swedish high street retailer, have just announced their next designer collection will be designed by British designer Matthew Williamson.
The collection will be launched on April 23rd and will feature a womenswear collection, followed in mid may by a mens collection. The collection will include printed pieces, in which he is famous for, as well as the form-fitting dresses that his celebrity fans tend to don on the red carpet.
In a statement, Williamson said "I love the fact that H&M has created a new phenomenon in fashion through the pioneering concept of collaborating with high-end designers to create one-off limited-edition capsule collections. I am thrilled that my creations for H&M will be accessible to - and hopefully enjoyed by - so many people around the world."
Everyone is worried about money at the moment, and the worst part is that there is no foreseeable end to our economic woes. Are we all going to stop shopping? Obviously not, but India Knight's new book, The Thrift Book: Live Well and Spend Less (Fig Tree Publishing) is a guide that will help readers to live well and save money.
The book includes tips of home baking, dressing on a budget, swapping schemes, entertaining on the cheap, and how to manage what little money we all have. At a conference last week I heard someone from Jimmy Choo say that the customer who comes in and buys seventy pairs of shoes in one day is now only buying fifty, but that's not what hurts. It's the aspirational customer who used to treat herself occasionally, but now can't afford even one pair of Jimmy Choos, that is hurting the industry. Unfortunately, I fit into the second category, and am very open to tips on saving money, so I can still go out and buy an occasional pair of Jimmy Choos.
It's that time of year again, and this year we are strapped for cash and wondering what to buy. This year I am hardly buying any presents, but the few that I am buying fit into two categories. Here they are:
Buy something cheap from a Luxury Brand!
There are always going to be people that you simply can't get away from buying something nice, a box of homemade fudge won't do the job. My trick with these people is to buy them something cheap, from somewhere expensive, and wrap it up nicely. This always does the job. This year my brand of choice was Fortnum & Mason, the fancy English tea company, that does amazing tea and biscuits wrapped up in extravagant tin boxes. It always impresses. Other options can be Dyptique candles, Aesop Handcream, or Smythson Stationary gift boxes. People will forgive you for being cheap, if its from a fancy brand!
Give a charitable donation!
I have done this before, and it actually feels better than buying people things they love. This is especially good when you have large groups of people to buy for (like families) or people who live far away (save on posting charges.) I usually tend to give to Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) but any contribution to a worthy, trusted charity is bound to make the recipient who's name you donated in, feel good. You will also feel smug in knowing that you chose to give your money to a worthy cause. Even though we might all be scrimping to afford the new Marc Jacobs handbag, there are people in the world that are seriously worse off than we are, and charity is a very important part of Christmas.