By  on March 16, 2007

LONDON — This was no everyday clothing launch: There was thumping music, muscled male dancers and a great wall of paparazzi planted on the pavement outside the Langham Hotel. The event was the unveiling of M by Madonna for Hennes & Mauritz.

On Tuesday night, the pop star — clad in a white Forties-style jersey dress of her own design — laid out the theory behind her new collection for the Swedish fast-fashion retailer.

"I wanted something casual but naughty, sensible but sexy. That's me. That's how I am. I wanted the collection to be for a working girl," said Madonna in a not-so-quiet corner of the Artesian Bar at the hotel, near Oxford Circus.

"This is a combination of outfits I would love to wear. Bits and pieces have been inspired by the outfits in my own wardrobe, and also by what I love, like kimonos or my favorite Seventies vintage dress with the butterfly sleeves. I bought it in New York 10 years ago, and have worn it down to threads."

The collection, Madonna's second for H&M after her tracksuits launched last spring, features pieces in viscose jersey, silk rayon, cotton poplin, leather and Lycra.

The new M by Madonna line launches worldwide on March 22 and will be sold in 26 countries. An H&M spokeswoman said M by Madonna differs from the brand's other celebrity collaborations — with Karl Lagerfeld, Viktor & Rolf and Stella McCartney — in that it will be sold in every H&M store that carries women's wear, rather than in the flagships alone.

As reported in December, Steven Klein shot the campaign, which features Madonna modeling the clothes. The ads look eerily similar to the campaign with Madonna that Klein shot for Versace.

The one-off, capsule collection is filled with classics: Kimono-style dresses; tailored jackets and knee-length hipster shorts; pencil skirts paired with cummerbunds; belted trenchcoats; little leather jackets, and white cotton shirts. There's also a full accessories line, with sexy, lace-up boots, skinny leather belts, evening clutch bags and sunglasses.

Madonna said her inspirations come from everywhere. "I go out a lot, I read and go to the movies, and I always try to see and interpret what's around me. I'm a curious person."

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