The Swedish high-street giant’s collaborations are one of the most anticipated events of the year, ceremonially dropping in early November to packed crowds of avid fans. Past collaborators have included Isabel Marant, Moschino, Alexander Wang, Peter Pilotto and Kenzo – each selling out in a matter of days. The rules are simple: the name is announced in early summer and the collection hits stores early winter, or so we thought… This week, the high-street giant threw fans into a fashion frenzy by releasing a pre-collection in 12 stores globally on 25 May, a mere 48 hours after announcing 2019’s designer as Giambattista Valli.
The news was announced at the amfAR gala in Cannes on 23 May as a line-up of celebrities including Kendall Jenner, Chiara Ferragni and Bianca Brandolini d’Adda joined H&M’s Creative Advisor Ann-Sofie Johansson and Giambattista Valli himself. If you’re not already an adoring fan of the Italian designer’s ready-to-wear and Haute Couture collections, then there’s a lot to look forward to. His red-carpet gowns are a constant ode to femininity straddling epic fairy-tale visions with strokes of cool and contemporary. Think tulle for days, palettes typically led by blush pinks, feminine blues and a medley of sherbet tones, and some of the prettiest botanical prints to hit the Paris runways. “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. The goal is to share my love for beauty and to be able to be part of everyone’s ‘happy moments’, to help create love stories all around the world,” announced Giambattista Valli.
The pre-collection features an acid pink, thigh-skimming dress (as modelled by Jenner); a demure barely there pink lace piece spotted on Ferragni; a two-piece ruffled shoulder skirt suit worn by d’Adda, and much more. It’s every bit as girly and prim as you’d expect from Valli. Unsurprising, then, that regional star Alanoud Badr, aka Fozaza, has already managed to get her hands on one of the dresses. Jealous, us? Well, maybe. The good news: Avenues in Kuwait is one of the chosen 12. If you can’t make it there for the pre-collection then the full line is due for official worldwide release on 7 November. Unless, of course, H&M decides to throw us off course with another unexpected drop in the meantime…