Barbie Ferreira and Alton Mason Self-Directed This H&M Campaign

Barbie Ferreira and Alton Mason Self-Directed This H&M Campaign

by Dylan Kelly

After announcing a series of new collabs the past few weeks, including H&M x Sandra Mansour and H&M x Kangol, it seems the Swedish fast fashion giant is continuing to stay booked and busy this season with the debut of its Fall 2020 Studio collection (the brand's more elevated, fashion-forward line).

Dubbed "The Refined Rebel," the line incorporates notes of '70s rock, disco and punk complete with bright jolts of color. "We began by looking at the poet Violet Paget, she was a rebel in her time as she had no fear in dressing androgynously," H&M Studio's Concept Designer Linda Wikell tells PAPER of the collection's origins.

"Likewise, our other key inspiration was David Bowie," she adds. "Not only does he have a song 'Rebel, Rebel' — that was a bit of a mantra in the making of this collection — but he was rebellious in his style too. Much like Paget he pushed the boundaries of gender with what he wore."

Citing the androgynous, risk-taking style of both Paget and Bowie as inspirations, the collection also looks to the sophistication of their lifestyles for a high fashion touch. "The refined elements of this collection come from Florence, Italy," explains Wikell. "Paget had taken a residency there and we were drawn to the flamboyant style of the locals as well as the decadence of the city."

To celebrate the launch, H&M Studio enlisted some of its favorite muses — Barbie Ferreira, Veronika Heilbrunner, Celeste, Alton Mason, Young Emperors and Mia Kong — to co-create the campaign from their respective homes across the globe. The result? A playful, eclectic collage that showcases each party-ready design.

Working with producers through Zoom, each model essentially took creative control for themselves, working through each look with the H&M team and shooting all of the images on their phones. From there, the team's editors overlayed up-close detail shots and imagery of full-body looks onto various colored backgrounds, emphasizing the line's versatile styling options and bounty of color.

"I felt really put together and that's quite rare these days," says Ferreira, who conducted her shoot at a friend's house. "I had my little bangs out, which is also rare because I usually just put my hair up and wear a t-shirt and shorts and it was really refreshing to wear real clothes again and wear something that made me feel really dressed up."

As for her thoughts on the collection, Ferreira cites the duality of the elevated-yet-rebellious aesthetic as a standout design technique. "I think that the silhouettes are very classic and gorgeous, but the fabrics are really fun, so there's purple sparkly, and there's these really bright greens," she explains. "I love this one dress I wore that almost has like a collar and it has these little feminine twists to these really cool leather pieces and patterns, and that's my favorite combo. [The collection] is very sexy and it blends a masculine look with a feminine look, which I also love."

Similarly, model Alton Mason worked on his set of images with his siblings at home and had total control over his artistic direction. "Personally, I feel like the clothes are timeless and they reflect the past, the present and the future," he says. "There's this all-black suit and there's this turquoise suit that I loved. Those just felt really timeless to me. I felt that I could wear them anywhere no matter what time of day and for any occasion, whether it's casual or something very elegant and chic. I really felt like myself in the clothes."

The H&M Studio FW20 collection will be available online starting September 24. As its arrival approaches, click through the gallery below to browse a selection of items.

Photos courtesy of H&M