The buzz is definitely swirling in the air. As the nation hangs on edge in anticipation with regular updates flying across the Internet like wildfire, H&M is forcing us to ponder the incredible hype when the first Southeast Asian opens here. The Swedish brand almost feels like it has a cult following now.

In the meantime, we were invited to the H&M Autumn/Winter 2011 press preview, which introduced us to the inaugural collection launching in Singapore in a few months’ time. You know a genuine interest in the product when the drinks and canapés served at the event go untouched and that was exactly what happened in the showroom. There were approving nods and breathy gasps as journalists gathered around the racks of clothing, while the refreshment table looked almost forlorn.

Expect the Autumn/Winter 2011 menswear collection to be a polished one focusing on simplicity and function with clever pairings of seasonal style items and classic favourites.

“Clean and sharp is the look for men this autumn, updated with seasonal colours, materials and key pieces. It’s also important that the wardrobe works in a different and efficient way, which is why design longevity is particularly important at H&M’s men’s department,” says Andreas Löwenstam, who is responsible for design at H&M Man.

“This season’s collection is about indispensible fashion essentials and about creating your own look.”

Dive into gloriously slim but casual jackets in an earthy palette of beiges, camel and tobacco, monochrome blacks and whites for classic tailored shirts and a pop of orange for that subtle flash of colour. Print and pattern wise, play around with classic shirting checks, jacquards, block stripes, pin stripes and tweed in doggedly rugged materials like twill, poplin, canvas and flannel.

H&M’s grand opening is slated to be in early September and we’re expecting queues that will put the Hello Kitty furore to shame. We can then also say farewell to sartorial conundrums forever.