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February 28, 2013  | by: Emilie Moran
Flickr (TomPurves)

Flickr (TomPurves)


As a college student in the middle of an economic crisis I find that many of my friends and I shop in inexpensive stores like H&M and Forever 21. The clothes are always on trend, affordable. Although the quality is not the best, I find that I do not worry if a shoulder tears or a skirt hem rips. Most days I am dressing for a day full of classes and casual activities; all important but nothing special, nothing too serious. Clothes from these kinds of stores make sense for the kind of person I am and for where I am in life. This is why I found myself so surprised when I heard the dress Helen Hunt wore to the 2013 Oscars came from H&M.

The dress was navy blue, satin and strapless. H&M’s head of design, Ann-Sofie Johansson stated that the reason behind H&M’s involvement in the awards fashion is that, “This is a way for us to show we can do so many more things than what we have in our stores.” With a new “red carpet” collection that will debut on April 4th, this dress seems like it will be the first of many.

I personally have no problem with a non-designer label being showcased on the red carpet. I think a designer is a designer. Who they design for should not be as important as what they actually design. However, when Hunt was asked if she was paid to wear the H&M dress, her response was: “We had an agreement, and both parties were satisfied, but as a business matter we will not give details.” To me, this sounds like a blatant yes. I am aware many celebrities are paid to wear certain items, and I am aware that this is just one way the fashion industry functions, yet I still find the prospect kind of upsetting. If you love the dress then fine, its a great deal getting paid to wear what you would normally wear, but fashion is a kind of freedom, and to give up this freedom and wear what others want you too is to me, saddening.

The Oscars are a night where half the fun is watching the men and women step out onto the red carpet in their tuxedos and gowns. It seems like most of the fun would be in choosing a dress and getting all dolled up. I do not have an issue with H&M being on the red carpet, or any designer for that matter, but when a person is forced to wear something, the piece becomes meaningless, joyless. The person becomes a walking advertisement rather than a reflection of their personal style. For me, this takes the creativity out of fashion and the fun out of the Oscars.

What do you think of Helen Hunts Oscar 2013 dress?

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