H&M Balmain bloody nation, where do I start…….
I can honestly say I am so relieved this is all over. I was anxious the day I saw that instagram video nearly a year ago, this was made worse by all my friends tagging me. I said I would never queue again; it’s too stressful, I spend too much money and the hype soon dies down. However I always said I would only do it if H&M collaborated with Balmain or CHANEL, H&M please don’t collaborate with CHANEL I don’t think I can do it all over again. This is defiantly the last time I will camp.
The hype has already died down and I am sick of seeing these items for sale on social media and eBay. I don’t agree with reselling these pieces, it’s a lazy way to make money and it’s greedy. The resellers (and I saw this first hand) were the ones creating havoc outside H&M, fighting, shouting and pushing. I have read some terrible comments regarding the opening launch. I also received so many emails and direct messages of you all sharing your horror stories of how unorganised the day was. As soon as I uploaded my instagram photo saying how happy I was and what a fun experience it was for me; I got bashed by so many people disagreeing with me. I read all your stories and if I was in some of your shoes I would have been disappointed too.
With that said I honestly had such a fun experience. I said to my friend Ying who I camped with “we need to be top five in the queue other wise there is no point, we will camp all night and end up with nothing if we are number 20+ in the queue.” I became friends with one of my followers Jerry, we planned the night two months in advance. We went to all the different stores and checked the stock list before we started the camp out. We didn’t get lucky with the store we camped at, it was down to our preparation. Jerry started camping at 4pm and I joined her at 5pm. I was standing outside the Preview because my friend Flavia (founder of Spotted on Celeb) had an invite. I queued with her for part of it and waited outside for two hours. Flavia kindly got me the long black blazer and I was so happy, thanks Flavia. Lydia was also on the look out for me but she said it was terrifying and nothin left on the rails. My main item was the pearl blazer and leather trousers and they were not there when she entered. I had made my plan with Ying and Jerry so what ever happened I was still queueing.
I waited outside for three hours but I didn’t have a coat on and I needed to walk and feed Tallulah. I rushed home and was back within 45 mins. When I came back at 5:50pm I was in for a treat. I had my camping chair empty in the queue, clearly that was my space; a guy came from the back screamed at me and told me to get out the queue because I pushed in. He also grabbed my friend and pulled her out. I am one feisty girl but even I knew not to shout back at this guy, he was so agressive and scared me. luckily snapchat and instagram saved the day! We had filmed us all outside an hour before and this proved I had been there all afternoon and left for not even an hour. This was my only drama. When I was walking home I walked passed Regent St and already at 6pm it looked like carnage! There was people arguing, the crowd looked rowdy and there were ten times the amount of people outside Regent St.
This wasn’t the worst drama. At 6am four girls got out of a (expensive) car, gave an envelope to one man standing about 40 people beind me. The guy left with his envelope and the four girls joined the queue. To top this awkward situation off they were all carrying Birkins. I am not against girls who carry Birkins by all means. But don’t bring your Birkin to a camp out when you are pushing in; girls you could have attempted to look less brazen. When I say hell broke loose I really do mean hell broke. For an hour the entire queue argued with them, they wouldn’t leave so everyone pushed in front of them and us girls at the front got really squashed. They eventually left and one stayed, which was fair because the man had left.
The staff at Tottencourt Road H&M were so nice to us. They came outside with the stock list to tell us what they had, they gave us umbrellas when it rained and we had hot chocolate and macaroons in the morning at 6am. The security guys were also really nice, polite and not at all heavy handed when they could have been.
When the time finally came and we were single file I was literally shaking. The shakes were clearing because I was frozen to the bone, exhausted, hungry and as soon as I entered the shop the sudden heat made me feel dizzy and faint. I thought to myself Claire you better not faint before you shop. I thought hold it together for ten minutes then you can faint. One of the sales girls saw me take a deep breathe, because I was so anxious and trying to focus on what I was going to grab and she laughed. We all ran straight to the pearl jackets. I was the last one to grab one and I got a size 14! Jerry had a 10 so we swapped sizes, thankfully we both had each others size. I grabbed any random long black blazer and any random white and black tee. There was no time to check sizes because I had to get to the leathers on the other side. I ran straight to the other side and checked the sizes of my leather trousers. I was praying that a size 38 would fit. I would rather them be too big then to small. I knew the head phones were behind me and then last minute I grabbed the sleeveless blazer. I nearly bought the velvet blazer and white blazer but I have these two in Balmain so it was pointless and I just needed to get out. I sat on the floor as I was trying to put my items in a basket some girl stole my sleeveless jacket! Jerry came to my rescue and handed me the same jacket because it was to small for her. Before someone could steal off me again, I needed to get my items inside the basket so I ran over to a sales girl and shouted “HELP ME.” She laughed and helped me. If you could see me that day you would all be laughing so much, it really was dramatic.
You won’t believe what happened next…..
I got to the till and my card declined!!!! Imagine.
My amount came to £1287. I had purposely made sure I went with cash, I really didn’t want to be spending more than the £800 I had put aside, so I took cash and then had a card with a few hundred on it just incase. I purposely didn’t bring my main account card; £800 was already way too much. Luckily I had my card for extras and I put the rest on that. When my card declined I thought “what no way, I can not deal with this.” I checked my on line banking and was 78p short! Ying was behind me and gave me the money, thank god.
The manager was really kind and escorted us out the back because there was apparently a riot outside and people were stealing bags.
Ying and I laid on my sofa with tea and a blanket, the floor was covered in HMBalmain. For the next few days I was exhausted, had a fever and my left big toe nail also came clean off, I think it froze to death. I met some really great girls and was shocked that a few of the girls in the queue followed my blog. I was also so surprised that a few of you came over to me outside the preview and said “hi.” Everyone of you asked me why I wasn’t inside the preview and laughed that they were not bloggers had an invite. I guess there are a lot of bloggers and not everyone could get invited. It was slightly frustrating to see bloggers leave empty handed and not even write about the collection but hey at least I got what I wanted. If you want something go get it yourself; something I say to Paris too often because he always saids no to me. Who saw my toilet seat snapchat last night? This is a perfect example of him always saying no.
I hope you all got what you wanted and even though the hype has already died down I am still in love with my purchases. I adore pearl encrusted jackets like this one I wore in Paris and this one here so I am going keep this jacket forever. The leather pants are my second fave because they were £200 and this is really good value considering the All Saints ones I have were £500. Thanks HM for allowing me to see the showroom, it helped me see how amazing the products were and work out what I wanted to buy.
In my next article I will list a size guide just in case you are still looking to buy pieces from resellers. Be careful for the scammers, I know two people that were scammed buying the pearl jacket.
I need to also tell you a little story about me shorting this look. I was standing outside a ate of a huge house in Chelsea, there were builders everywhere so I had to stay in this corner. It was freezing and I was in a mini dress and platforms at 13:00. Lets also not forget I am thirty and not 21 so I was highly embarrassed. I told Emma she had five minutes to shoot this. Thankfully she knows how to take a good photos and she knows what angles I like and it literally took three minutes to shoot.
However, the owner of the house must have seen a prostitute looking girl outside his gate. In Chelsea barley anyone dresses up, there is a reputation that if you dress up you are a hooker, guys it’s not like Essex where you could wear this to Tesco and no one would even care. He said “can I help you” I said “no, I am taking a photo on the street, I don’t need your help thanks.” He then asked me if I wanted to come in! Emma laughed and we just ran away. I hope the photos were worth the embarrassment!
To camp out I wore my NIKE sports top, the one I wrote about here. This top really does work, All I had on was this top and my Acne coat to stay warm all night. I didn’t want a thick jump on because I needed to try stuff on once inside. It was a risk only wearing my NIKE top but it didn’t let me down, it really did keep me so warm. Highly recommend, not only for sport but to keep you warm.
Photos by Emma