Donatella Versace went into the company vault for H&M and came out with an homage to her late brother, Gianni: expressive, inexpensive body-con clothing that’s bullish on colour, print and glamour.
CHEAP & CHIC | One upside of the latest economic downturn is that in the past year high-end fashion designers have been courting low-end buyers with more ardor than ever before. Just last November, frugalistas everywhere were swooning over Lanvin’s diffusion line for H&M. Since then, Macy’s has served up two capsule collections: one from Karl Lagerfeld, the other Giambattista Valli. Last month, Target created a buying frenzy with the release of 400 different products from Missoni; and now H&M is poised to create an even bigger furor on November 17 when their Versace collection goes on sale.
Channeling Versace’s Greatest Hits
Students of fashion will recognize the influence of Gianni Versace right through H&M’s line. “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.” says Donatella Versace in H&M’s release. “I can’t wait to see how H&M’s wide audience will make these pieces their own.”
Neither can we. Versace has never been fashion for the feint-of-heart, and even now, in down-market mode, Donatella pulls out the stops—and the studs. Leather dresses come punctuated with studs, so do leather jackets (for both women and men), handbags and shoes. And there are dresses, skirts, bombers and leggings rendered in Versace’s most famous archival prints.
On the men’s side, Versace plays to cool guys who want to look pretty in pink shirts and suits—and other intense colours and optical patterns that have a Miami Vice vibe. — Annabel Lee
Photos: Kacper Kasperzyk, courtesy Versace for H&M