Couture meets high-street in Giambattista Valli, H&M collaboration


ROME (Reuters) – High-end fashion met budget high-street retail at a glittering catwalk show in Rome on Thursday evening, where Italian designer Giambattista Valli presented his new collection for Sweden’s H&M in Rome’s sumptuous 17th-century Palazzo Doria Pamphilj.

Against a backdrop of chandeliered gilded salons, models including Kendall Jenner swept down a pink catwalk in an array of feminine and glamorous gowns, a staple for Paris-based Valli, whose designs are often seen on the red carpet.

Voluminous tiered frocks came in pink, red or black tulle and were strapless, one-shouldered or asymmetric: short at the front and long at the back. There were also floaty floral print dresses, hooded jumpers, sequined or frilled tops and embellished jackets.

The looks were accessorised with embroidered fishnet tights or long white socks printed with hearts just below the knee. Footwear included sandals, lace-ups and short lace boots, while jewelry came as pearl necklaces and sparkling chokers.

“It’s indeed a collaboration rather out of the ordinary,” fashion publication Vogue quoted Valli as saying on its website.

“I imagined the story of a Roman girl who after traveling the world — to LA, Berlin, India, London, wherever — comes back here to spend a fun weekend with her crowd of talented, artsy friends.”

The Rome-born designer, who shows his own ready-to-wear and haute couture collections in Paris, also presented menswear creations in the collaboration, including sparkling sequined trouser suits. Male models also wore floral knits and tiger-print jackets and trousers.

Animal prints featured elsewhere in the line, which hits H&M stores worldwide on Nov. 7.

The Swedish budget label has become known for its designer collaborations, which have previously included Balmain, Versace and Karl Lagerfeld.

Reporting by Eleanor Biles; Additional reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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