Swedish fashion chain H&M has announced that couture fashion house Giambattista Valli is its latest designer collaborator, bringing red carpet worthy gowns to the high street.
Announced at the amfAR gala in Cannes and on both brand’s Instagram accounts, the Giambattista Valli x H&M, #Project collection will be “creative, cool and couture-like” and will launch with a pre-drop of nine looks on May 25, ahead of the main collection that will launch on November 7.
Commenting on the collaboration Giambattista Valli said in the brand’s promo video: “I’m glad to announce to you an exciting collaboration with H&M. I’m from Rome, but I moved to Paris because I was dreaming of building up a proper haute couture Maison.
“Couture is the art of making beautiful fabrics and experimenting. It’s the freedom of bringing, like, a dream into reality. I’m totally excited to see what is going to happen with collaboration and all the love stories that are going to start all around the world.”
This marks the first time that H&M has done a pre-drop for its designer collaborations, and includes an array of frothy tulle gowns and cocktail dresses, including a statement bubble gum pink flared tulle dress for 229.99 pounds, featuring six layers of “airy tulle give the full-flounced skirt extra lift and volume”. On H&M’s website, they describe it as the designer's “iconic babydoll dress that perfectly balances prettiness with a savvy attitude”.
Other highlights of the red carpet ready collection, which is most likely to be an instant sellout, has to be ‘The Plush Peach’ a blush pink dress bearing Giambattista Valli's signature mullet-hem silhouette with a dramatic train and a ruffle top for 299.99 pounds and the equally dramatic ‘The Love Dress’, a romantic short lace dress featuring an asymmetrical organza and tulle skirt, and an embroidered red heart for 399.99 pounds.
On H&M’s website Valli states that the collaboration is an opportunity to bring his designs to a “larger group of friends” and he can’t wait to see customers reactions to the collection that also includes a white, could be bridal lace corset dress for 399.99 pounds, made from “layers and layers of pleated tulle, crinoline and mesh” that have been covered with delicately embroidered flowers, and a long silk pink dress featuring the designer’s signature organza ruffles for 149.99 pounds.
The other items in the pre-drop as advertised on the high street brand’s website include a short chiffon skirt, a short flounce top, a bow belt, a tiara, lingerie, an organza T-shirt, sandals and a necklace that takes inspiration from the gobstopper-sized pearl necklace that Valli wears.
The Giambattista Valli x H&M collection also includes a selection of menswear including an dotted two-piece light grey wool suit worn with a sheer organza shirt that the retailer states “ticks all the boxes for a dapper wedding”, as well as a dark grey short suit featuring a double-breasted jacket, and a short-sleeved crew neck shown with shorts, all three look are worn with studded leather loafers.
“I love eclectic characters and a contemporary attitude,” explains Valli on H&M’s website regarding the menswear offering. “Like coming out of the gym in your boxing shorts and pairing them with a tailored double-breasted jacket.”
This is more of premium designer collaboration that previous collections, with Valli known for his couture designs, and follows on from its successful collaborations with Moschino last year and Erdem in 2017.
The H&M guest designer initiative started in 2004 with Karl Lagerfeld, where the collection sold out within minutes, this then led to an annual designer collaboration that has included Stella McCartney, Viktor & Rolf, Roberto Cavalli, Comme des Garcons, Matthew Williamson, Jimmy Choo's Tamara Mellon, Lanvin, Versace, Marni, Maison Martin Margiela, Isabel Marant, Alexander Wang, Balmain, and Kenzo.
The Giambattista Valli x H&M pre-collection collection will be available in 12 select H&M stores and hm.com from May 25 at 8am, followed by a full collection in November. Prices range from 12.99 pounds for white ribbed socks featuring a heart to 399.99 pounds for the lace dress with train.
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Creative, cool and couture-like. Welcome to the exciting world of the Paris-based master of beauty and sophistication. @giambattistavalliparis is this year’s designer collaboration! @hm #Project On 25 May, we will release a pre-drop from @giambattistavalliparis x @hm with a limited edition of nine looks, as well as a few accessories, in selected stores and online. The main collection will launch on 7 November 2019.
Images: via H&M’s website