To share or not to share? Part of me wants to keep news of H&M's latest venture to myself, in the hope that come the 20th of May I might have just a slim chance of getting my hands on something from this covetable collection. However, as 25% of sales from this new range will be going to charity, it seems only fair to spread the word about clothes that are not only fabulous, but will help a good cause too.
For the third year running H&M have joined up with Designers Against Aids to advocate the message of safe sex and raise funds for charities that promote the awareness of Aids/HIV among the young.
This year the theme for the collection is festival-wear. With summer festivals on the horizon what to wear seems the hovering question. Because a festival wardrobe has to be that bit cooler and that bit more individual. With this sartorial pressure it renders the high street a potentially precarious and stress-filled destination. Fear no more however, H&M have all the answers, and all the outfits. And it just gets better, because unlike some of their designer collaborations which can fall just outside of student friendly when it comes to prices, this H&M range is surprisingly, wonderfully, joyfully affordable. Think £15 to £25 for a dress. I told you this was good.
The advertising campaign sums up the feel of the collection. It's cool, Lou Doillon cool. Awash with faded denim, ethnic inspired fabrics and animal prints the collection is bang on trend. Mix in maxi dresses, toughen-it-up leather and luxe details and you have a range full of outfits to kill for. You can't just buy the dress, you have to have the belt and the shoes and the bangles too...
Below is my pick of favourites from the collection:
In faded denim, and a simple, body hugging shape this dress would be the perfect staple for a summer wardrobe. But add in the detailing on the elbows and the neckline and it looks like something you could see on the catwalk of many a cool young designer. Yet, hoorah, it's just £24.99.
Maxi dresses are an unstoppable force this summer - to try to avoid this trend would be like trying to stop a tidal wave with a beaver's dam. For many a maxi might be just a bit too hippie, and a loose shape a bit too 'pregnant'. If this applies to you, opt instead for this monochrome version from H&M (£14.99). The deep v-neck gives a flattering shape, whilst the three quarter length sleeves are perfect if you'd prefer not to flash too much flesh. With floaty beach styles and plain jersey versions abound, this seems a quirkier, more style-savvy alternative. Perfect, therefore, to show your fashion credentials at an uber cool festival.
Turquoise accessories are big this summer, and it is easy to see why when presented with the brilliant hue of this necklace (£12.99). Packing for a festival means taking just as much as you can carry, so if you can't fit in too many changes of outfits, accessories are the perfect way to freshen up an outfit. Statement necklaces like this can be slung over a t-shirt for an instant update - with a necklace this fab no one will notice you've been wearing the same t-shirt for the last 3 days.
I will never tire of bangles. Perfectly simple - just stack them up your arm and you're set to go. I love this bold set (£9.99) that would add the finishing touch to any of the outfits in the new H&M range. All you need are your festival bands as well for the finishing touch.
In monochrome zig-zag print these seem one of the best interpretations of the gladiator sandal (another summer trend that is nye on impossible to escape). These are shoes for the coolest of festival feet. (£14.99)
H&M have thought of everything. The festival kit is completed by this paisley print sleeping bag above (£12.99) and leopard print tent below (£7.99 - yes, you did read that correctly, it is actually £7.99). One of the things I'd worry about at Glastonbury would be losing my tent - there could be nothing worse than wandering through a mass of guy ropes and khaki domes in helpless dismay. Actually, perhaps worse would be unzipping a tent that looked similar to your own and stepping in on some unsuspecting stranger. Therefore this gloriously garish tent is perfect - you're not going to lose it in a hurry.
The H&M Fashion Against Aids range will go on sale from the 20th of May, and will be sold in the Divided youth sections of stores. And it doesn't stop at womenswear and tents - there is also an equally desirable menswear range for guys looking for 'I'm in the band' outfits to see them through festival season.
One word of warning - prepare for queues as these clothes are too good to stay on the hangers for long.
Click here to learn more about Designers Against Aids