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Isabel Marant x H&M at State Street: One Woman's Story

Best bets: Isabel Marant x H&M silk dress, $129, and silk skirt, $79.95
Best bets: Isabel Marant x H&M silk dress, $129, and silk skirt, $79.95

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Onlookers expected chaos when H&M's collaboration with boho French designer Isabel Marant hit stores this morning, but according to one reader, the crowd at State Street was surprisingly civil. Our tipster filed a thorough report on the staff (plentiful), the shoppers (knowledgable), and the quality and cut of the clothes (variable.) She concludes that you'll be able to pick up basics in-store for another few days—a big contrast with the online shop, where as of press time pretty much everything is sold out. Read on for her story, and if you'd like to add your own two cents, feel free to email us at chicago@racked.com.

I got to the State Street store around 5:20 AM and I was the seventh person in line. From the looks of it no one slept there overnight. I think the weather had something to do with that. It was cold, made some good conversation with fellow line mates. We all went over what we were looking for, and luckily it was all different! Someone in line was completely fixated on nabbing that embroidered jacket, someone else the boots, etc. I came in with the hopes of getting the metallic bomber and wrap skirt.
Around 7 we were treated to Starbucks and started to make conversation with the staff arriving (there were a TON of staff there as well), as well as with some confused onlookers. One person came down from the office across the street to ask why the heck we had been standing there all morning. By the time they started handing out wristbands there were only about 40 people in line (and how cute was it that they were little friendship bracelets?!). They let us in to look at the men's and kid's stuff at 7:45. I'm petite, so a few of the kids options actually looked decent, but I wanted to stay focused on the stuff that I had budgeted for.
Around 8 all of the first group was in line to get to the women's stuff. They let us in, and I think that for the most part everyone got what they wanted. There were a few people that took the entire rack of sizes to try on, but I really don't think there were any eBay sellers in the group. I tried on the previously mentioned bomber and skirt and was I ever glad that I did NOT just buy online, because the fit was not the best. The skirt ran small and the jacquard fabric was a little itchy. It did nothing for me. The bomber runs large, and even for being loose fitting it did not look great on me.
Luckily I had also pulled the black lace top and dress, the sheer skirt (it's in the window display), the metallic dress, the kid's red skirt, and the kid's long cardigan sweater. My legs were too short for the pants and while the knitwear was great, I thought it added too much bulk to my figure. The kid's stuff runs okay. The sweater fit fine, but wasn't my style. The skirt was pretty short and not that special, so both of the kid's items went back. The lace items were great, a really interesting pattern. Worth noting is that the tops are totally sheer (online I couldn't tell). The pencil-ish skirt is WONDERFUL. Extremely flattering cut and the fabric is really pretty. The metallic dress was great too, it's almost an exact replica of one of her runway designs.
I think that a lot of the more basic items will end up being purchasable for a few days. They were decent, but it's a stretch to pay $30 for a sheer linen tank top when it's 30 degrees outside. We were discussing in line why there seemed to be such a thin crowd for this release (it was my first, but others had waited in the past). I think that the weather played a big part. Also, I think there's a little less name recognition with Isabel Marant (at least in these parts) compared with previous designers. Even though it was determined that this was NOT the priciest collab, the price points of the most often highlighted items (the boots and jacket) were pretty steep for a passerby. Honestly, I think that this is the most wearable of the H&M collabs (with the exception of some of the very early ones). I'm totally glad that I was one of the insane people who waited in the cold for 3 hours.

· Isabel Marant Pour H&M Hits Stores Today! [Racked Chicago]
· Isabel Marant x H&M: What is Already Sold Out Online [Racked National]

H&M State Street

22 N State Street Chicago IL