Friday, 21 October 2011

Versace and H&M

Set to launch in 300 stores from November 17th we finally get to peak at the 90 strong designer/high street collaboration......

Designer and vice president of the Versace group, 56 year old Donatella, can be seen above wearing the studded dress from the collection. Commenting on the venture before it's release....'The collection will be quintessential Versace, perfect for H&M and Versace fans everywhere.' 'For the collaboration we've brought back from the archives, as well as from more recent collections, some of the icons of Versace, such as the bright prints, the Greek key and daring cuts'. 'I can't wait to see how H&M's wide audience will make these pieces their own.'


So as part of H&Ms wide audience I thought I give you my brief round-up on the varied collection....

There was no understatement when Donatella used the word bright to describe some of the designs. My initial reaction was 'too much', but after further inspection I have warmed to the outlandish display. Take the animal/beach scene/gold print skirt.... quite a noisy statement piece but team with a simple black tea and some impressive heels and you have yourself a quirky evening look. You don't have to overwhelm yourself with a complete look by copying the models image piece for piece. Pick one of their statement bags and let it zest up a paired down look. Chuck a traditional tuxedo blazer over one of the busy sequined dresses or add a pair of safe black opaques. While I wouldn't wear the oriental inspired print dress and leggings I admire the artistry and can imagine Jessie J lapping up some of the other over-sized floral print skinny pants. I appreciate the lovely bead/stud work on the flattering hot pink and yellow shift dresses and have been temped to dip into the colour wheel via an ultra feminine lilac number too.

The impressive selection of accessories, largely made up of bright gold teamed with black or bling we can really see the aforementioned Greek influence coming through, as well as the glamour we associate with the brand. For those that don't wish to douse themselves in the designer/high street hybrid a statement belt or knockout piece of jewellery is a great way to infuse a bit of Versace vigor into your ensemble.



As a less than brave clothes the collections range of black dresses are the most appealing, featuring embellishment, subtly sexy cut outs and studding, they have more zazazoo then the typical LBD... although the high hemlines and exposed arms may make them a less desirable purchase for the more mature lady. Versace has always known how to create alluring silhouettes (which is why they are a perennial red carpet fave) and they have carried this on through this collection using corsetry, sexy fabrics (layered sheers, sequins , liquid chain-mail and leather), nipped in waists and decolletage teasing drapes.


I didn't want to leave out the male readers so here are a few stand out looks... although no necessarily for the right reasons.

I can't argue with H&M Creative Advisor Margareta van den Bosch who said 'Versace’s collection for H&M is a moment in fashion. It is full of strong pieces that stand out, with colours, prints and cuts that are clean and precise," but if I saw a bloke sporting studded black leather trousers and palm tree print t-shirt (see above) I would either presume he was making some sort of ironic statement or that he had extremely questionable taste. I appreciate that they have looked at the history of the brand and embraced the heady designs of their iconic 80/90s era, but some looks are better left in the past or at least resigned to a very particular kind of clubs. Despite my reservations I do realize that these looks could work for those that perform - I can imagine Mark Ronson completely pulling off the hot pink suit. The vivid prints and retro vibe also lend themselves well to funky photo and video shoots. I have also seen a fair few people sporting similar bombers to the one seen on the left when at trendy fashion events in East London.... perhaps my distaste is merely down to not being in the target demographic.


However, as with the ladies offerings, I do love the mens black ensembles. You can't go far wrong with a well fitting suit, the sheen of the fabric giving it a hint of Versace opulence but made extremely wearable by teaming with a open weave knit and another winning studded belt. For those that prefer an all black look but with a more of a daring twist the studded shorts paired with this stunning shirt complete with metal detailing is a great look, given further impact by this leather jacket featuring some impressive aztec stud work.

Prices start at £19.99 for jewellery and rise to £199.99 for a man's studded leather jacket.

P.S Versace's pre-spring collection launches online on January 19.

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