Carried away by men in white coats

PUBLISHED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 16 November, 2012, 11:41am

H&M's latest publicity stunt, which took place last Saturday, was a celebration of the latest high-low collaboration undertaken by the mass fashion retailer, which hit the shops yesterday.

After the likes of Karl Lagerfeld and Comme des Garçons, perhaps the least likely matched brand to jump on the bandwagon is Maison Martin Margiela. The label is famously anti-branded - or at least as much as anything can be in fashion - and founded by a secretive Belgian designer who has managed to keep his face out of the public eye all these years.

The designer has since left, and the brand is now owned by Renzo Rosso, founder of Diesel. But it still maintains much of its ultra-minimal, deconstructed ethos.

So I am guessing that, with this in mind, the "Silent Manifesto" event was born. Local stars Shawn Yue Man-lok, Pakho Chau and Kenneth Tsang Kong led a group of people through busy areas of town with placards announcing the collection's debut.

Sneak peaks of the collection have shown a very Margiela aesthetic, largely devoid of colours. As a fan of the brand, especially its sublime tailored jackets, I'm looking forward to picking up a few pieces at H&M's budget prices.

But I'm not sure that the white lab pinafores and placards really had their intended effect in this silent march along Queen's Road. The bizarre stunt was led by Chau and Kong, while Yue acted as guest photographer and snapped away. It seemed to generate a sense of awkwardness and confusion in passers-by in Central.

In Hong Kong, celebrities serve to draw eyes and cameras to the most banal of events. Judging by the bemused kerfuffle surrounding the silent stand-off outside the H&M flagship, job done.