In a slightly disconcerting but hardly unpredictable turn of events, Swedish retail-clothing giant H&M have partnered up with Trish Summerville, costume designer on David Fincher’s upcoming film adaptation of the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, to produce a 30-piece clothing line based on the specifically anti-fashion and anti-trend style of protagonist Lisbeth Salander.
The A.V. Club puts it best, saying that H&M is “betting that more women will be looking for that certain ‘bottled-up rage over constant rape by misogynists’ look this season.” While corporate branding of artistic works, even controversial ones (as in Che Guevara’s face on T-shirts) is hardly new, this particular incidence seems particularly distasteful since it’s marketing towards women and is redundant to boot—Lisbeth’s quasi-goth/industrial but mostly poverty-inspired style is hardly new, nor is it ever something she claims is uniquely hers.
There’s even a moment fairly early in the text where she describes mild feelings of alienation as her similarly anti-fashion girl-gang friends, the “Evil Fingers,” start styling themselves more conventionally: “Their hair colour became less extreme, and the clothing came more often from H&M boutiques rather than from funky Myorna. [...] Salander felt as if she were the only one who had not changed a bit, which could also be interpreted as that she was simply marking time and going nowhere.”
And now she has an affordable H&M fashion line based off of her inability to conform to normal society. Creepy Halloween season indeed.