I’m going to put my hands up and admit that I have, over my years covering London, New York and Paris Fashion Weeks I may, just may, have mocked the more obscure theatrics that are presented to a clearly unconventional set, in fact, just last season I was slightly outspoken about boxes and the reality of them being part of any highstreet trend. So, colour me sheepish as I was delivered the latest collaboration between H&M and Italian designer Giambattista Valli.
Project Love was revealed on Thursday evening at the Cannes film festival. Looks from the Giambattista Valli x H&M collection were worn by celebrities attending the event, including model Kendall Jenner in a flourescent-pink tulle dress, the influencer Chiara Ferragni in a pale pink dress with a train, and the musician H.E.R. in a white gown with appliqué detailing.
Project Love put the pieces, those being made available in just 12 H&M stores around the world in, you guessed it, neon boxes.
As I autocorrect my previous opinion, with the help of my new little fluorescent tulle number, I am forced to reconsider the looks that hit last season’s catwalks with judgements likening them to bobbing baby ducklings and concede that, far from being unworkable into a wearable wardrobe, the presence of couture inspired lace, swathes of lace and the odd tiara are broken up with organza shirts, ribbed socks and laidback ts.
The frothy dress trend, which took over catwalks last February and has been described as making those who wear it “bob along like baby ducklings”, features heavily in this collaboration, thanks to the inclusion of the brand’s trademark ballgowns and use of tulle. A lace corset dress with tulle skirt comes priced at £400 – the most expensive piece in the initial release – while a peach-coloured tulle dress with a train will retail at £300. The collection also features an organza shirt, £70, and T-shirt, £40, as well as pair of leather loafers, £150. Lower-priced items include a £25 sparkly stone tiara and a pair of ribbed socks for £13.
Valli launched his eponymous brand in 2005 and makes his first foray into menswear, with several suits included within the H&M collection. This will be the first time that the designer has teamed up with the high-street retailer, although the chain has previously collaborated with a number of high-fashion brands, including Karl Lagerfeld, Moschino, Comme des Garçons, Kenzo and Alexander Wang.
“I am excited about this collaboration: H&M gives me the opportunity to bring my vision of style and my celebration of beauty to a wider audience,” Valli said in a statement.”
Selected pieces from the collection will be made available to purchase in 12 H&M stores around the world, including the Regent Street shop in London, and on hm.com from 25 May. The full collection will then be rolled out worldwide on 7 November.
Daisy Sells | WRITER