Ever since the delightfully over-the-top street style happening that is Anna Dello Russo (who by day is the fashion director at large for Vogue Nippon) burst onto the scene, it seemed inevitable that she would collaborate with someone on something fashion-related. Lucky for us — and for the scores of other style fans that likely wouldn’t be able to afford the spectacular high-fashion pieces she has in her own closet — she opted to work on a more affordable fashion collection with fast fashion retailer H&M.
For her collection, which hits stores in October, Dello Russo opted to focus on an overtly luxurious-looking collection of accessories — from $49.95 sunglasses topped with gold alligators to gold charm necklaces featuring heavy chains for $129. There’s even a veiled fascinator topped with feathers for $149.
In a release, Dello Russo declares: “Accessories are like vitamins to fashion — as such, you should use them liberally.”
At a special preview, the fashion maven held court at the Plaza during Fashion Week, surrounded by the tea cakes at Eloise’s boutique and, of course, her own glittery creations for H&M.
How did the line for H&M come together?
Anna Dello Russo: They called me. I was surprised that they called me [...] I was thinking, ‘That’s a great challenge for me.’
I said, ‘We’ll do an accessories collection,’ because in this inexpensive market, it doesn’t exist. Rather than do another collection of clothing, we’ll do accessories, which will much better. Firstly, it’s more me, and secondly, it personalizes your style. Thirdly, it doesn’t exist in the market.
When it comes to accessories, if you can only leave the house with one thing, what would it be?
A suitcase! Everything [in the collection] is related to Fashion Week — I’m a Fashion Week insider — and that is the job, so much traveling. When you’re traveling, you have to have your look done at the same time. The suitcase … can dress you up, color yourself. Don’t be conformist for Fashion Week.
How many suitcases did you bring for Fashion Week?
I ship a lot of stuff. I don’t travel with a lot of suitcases. But I always travel with my personal suitcase with accessories because you cannot lose those.
Our office is obsessed with your H&M video. What is a “Fashion Shower”?
“Fashion Shower” is an attitude. “Fashion Shower” is not to be conformist, not be lazy, but to need great energy. Fashion needs young, healthy energy.
You say that between fashion and style, you prefer fashion. What’s the difference?
That’s a provocation, of course. Style is sometimes too conformist — it’s too much related to the people. Fashion is more freedom. But of course everything is provocative. I always say I play with the rules.
Did you bring anything you’re particularly excited to wear this week?
Oh yeah, all the new things. I always prepare all my stuff six months before and I have a lot of new items. All new!
Do you have any shows you’re particularly looking forward to?
Marc Jacobs, always. Marc Jacobs and Proenza Schouler.
From this H&M collection, which are your must-have items?
For me, the sunglasses with the alligators are pretty good.
Obviously you’re a jet-setter, but when you’re in New York, where do you go? Do you like any restaurants in particular?
I don’t have time for that. Not just me — everyone. Our schedules are so tight. I’d rather see shows than go to a restaurant.
Do you think you’ll be doing fashion forever?
I hope so. Fashion is an attitude. It may be that I can no longer work inside — but I can do fashion another way.