Elbows are being sharpened and alarm clocks are being set as the Balmain x H&M collection finally goes live at 8am on Thursday morning. With queues expected from 4am outside The Dubai Mall H&M boutique, it really will be a case of handbags at dawn.
Arguably the hottest runway collection of 2015, with Balmain's creative director Olivier Rousteing pulling out all the showbiz stops, the question is... would you spend Dhs2,499 on a high street hook-up? The 68-piece collection ranges from Dhs79 for a ring to Dhs2,499 for that heavily-embellished black, white and gold dress seen on Gigi Hadid, but with two discernible differences to previous H&M designer collaborations, which have included Stella McCartney, Lanvin and Karl Lagerfeld.
Firstly, Olivier's desire to bring Balmain's couture DNA to his high street designs, meaning the pieces are more embellished and intricate than ever. Case in point, some of the more ornate mini dresses and blazers that are dripping in so many beads it guarantees a work out just wearing them.
Secondly, the showbiz buzz built around the collection. With a suped-up fashion show on Wall Street in October that saw Olivier's 'Balmain Army', aka Kendall, Karlie, Gigi and Jourdan, strut the collection right off the runway and straight into the hearts of millions of fashionistas and supermodel wannabes around the world, to an ultra-cool music video starring Ms Jenner, all fuelled by a must-follow hash tag #BalmainNation, what Olivier is doing is creating a money-can't-buy movement of pop culture togetherness, that feels inclusive and cool.
Gigi wears the most expensive piece, priced at Dhs2,499
Should all this add up to the higher price tags of a high street collection that, perhaps, many of the younger #BalmainArmy cadets won't be able to afford? The proof will be in the pudding as sales figures start rolling in. However, if Dhs2,499 is what us mere mortals have to fork out to join Kendall and Gigi's gang, perhaps it is a small price to pay? Soldier on... — Emily Baxter
The Balmain X H&M collection launches in the Middle East at 8am on Nov 5, available at H&M, The Dubai Mall.