H&M’s designer collaborations debut to much fanfare every year, and 2019 is no different. This year, the high street juggernaut has partnered up with Italian fashion designer Giambattista Valli to bring his signature line of partywear to a bigger audience. The collection consists of womenswear — where many of Valli’s signature details make requisite appearances — as well as the designer’s debut menswear collection
What To Expect
The womenswear line is a celebration of all things feminine, with a strong focus on pretty frocks. Valli is a dressmaker that banks on dramatic flourishes, so expect to find plenty of these elements showing up in the line. Dramatic tulle dresses, energetic ruffles, surfaces embroidered with every flower imaginable… there is no such thing as too much in this collection.
Accessories are a focal point for both genders, with a range of jewellery, shoes and bags that make great accompaniments for the upcoming party season.
The menswear collection — Valli’s first — remains steadfast in the spirit of being as extra as possible. Throughout the collection, the designer reworks Victorian fashion codes through a modern, youthful lens. Tiger stripes on a suit? Check. An embroidered coat, complete with tails? Present. A leopard-printed jumpsuit? Valli’s got it too. If Oscar Wilde were alive today, this is what he would wear.
As with all designer collaborations that H&M releases, you can also expect everything in the Giambattista Valli line to come in limited quantities.
What To Get
Ladies should spring for the black ruffled dresses and the embellished knits, which are glamorous without looking too try-hard. There’s beauty to be found in restraint, and these pieces allow you to experiment safely. The black lace booties are also great because they’re just dressy enough to be worn without looking over the top.
For the gentlemen, we’re strongly inclined towards the blazers and jackets, which are cut broader at the shoulders and slimmer at the waist — the cut makes for a leaner silhouette. The other item we’re coveting is the acid wash denim jacket. It has an air of ease and casual glamour that we can see working for many people. Finally, we recommend the pearl necklace — an item that Valli is often seen wearing himself — because why not? Jewellery for men has never been more in vogue.
What To Forget
Please put the red tulle gown back on the rack. The dress is one of the key looks in the collection, but that also means that a million other people are going to have it. Best to avoid, lest you encounter a “who wore it best” situation.
Also — and this may just be us — pass on jewellery with the lip motif. Those puckers were cast from Valli’s own lips, which sounds like a great idea in principle, but actually felt a little odd when held in person.
Leopard prints can be cool if done right — but one misstep, and you’ll look gangster (and not in a nice way). We were not particularly impressed by the quality of the “Giambattista Valli” branded hoodie knits either, given how flimsy the material felt. Lastly, the three-in-a-pack boxer briefs aren’t exactly doing anything for us, because leopard spots and floral patterns don’t exactly spell sexy.
The Giambattista Valli x H&M collection will be available on 7 November at H&M ION Orchard, Orchard Building, and hm.com.