Giambattista Valli – affordable fashion for Macy’s

Giambattista Valli Fall 2011 Ready To Wear

Valli Fall 2011 RTW - model Codie Young

Giambattista Valli Fall 2011 Ready To Wear

Valli Fall 2011 RWT - model Caterina Ravaglia

Giambattista Valli is the latest couturier to provide collections for customers who love high fashion but don’t have the budget to do more than window shop it.

The first haute couturier to go downtown was Matthew Williamson with their Diffusion Line available online at My Wardrobe. However with prices of £413 for a dress and near £500 for a coat Matthew Williamson is clearly far to ensconced in his high fashion bubble to have any sense of what most people’s budget can afford at the most prosperous of times, let alone what they can manage in an extended economic downturn with their credit cards being paid down not maxed up.

Next up was Karl Lagerfield with their collection for Macy’s. And perhaps surprisingly Lagerfield has a much better sense of what is affordable than Williamson – their ‘Lagerfield for Impulse’ collection available in store then online from August 31 has prices starting at £30 through to the £100 marker – I am converting from the US $ – Lagerfield in effect competing with Debenhams and Marks and Spencer – and Matalan, almost!

And Valli follow in his high-fashion footsteps also with Macy’s as part of their Impulse designer series. The prices are in the same price range as the Lagerfield ones. Macy’s are to be congratulated on this further venture and clearly have a much better understanding of the everyday budgets than My Wardrobe do.

According to Valli we can expect lace, brocade and tulle in bold prints and vibrant colours.

A lot of their 2011 Fall Ready To Wear collection was black and white via grey but there were occasional outbursts of pink, red and yellow.

I have included photographs of such pieces in this post.

Will it be marked down versions of them that will be filling up Macy’s racks and shelves? Here’s hoping.

Giambattista Valli Fall 2011 Ready To Wear

Valli Fall 2011 RTW - model Anais Pouliot

Chanel Fall 2011 Paris Couture Show

Chanel Couture Fall 2011

Chanel Couture Fall 2011 Karmen Pedaru

Modelled by Karmen Pedaru

Mixed receptions to the Paris Couture shows seemed to be the thing this week. As with Dior the fashion press is divided on Chanel’s Fall 2011 show. Unlike Dior no change at the top still the singular Karl Lagerfeld at the helm. And still those who think he carries the Coco flame. But others who think he has gone off track.

This show was a life of Coco if a Tarantino time-shifted one.

One of the criticisms of the show was that he made these ‘already taller-than-the-average-woman’ models look small – and which I share. This must have been purposeful I guess – Lagerfeld is too much the artist to have so oddly tailored – but then for what purpose?

Most of the outfits were suits and very stylish but they also looked very warm – and what sort of a primary adjective is that for a Chanel show?!

The Chanel work ethic was intact – it was as ever an extensive collection – the House of Chanel clearly toiled long and hard. I loved the materials and the design prints. But not enough to overcome my reservations about the styling and structure of the outfits at least in the first half of the show.

Chanel Couture Fall 2011 Liu Wen

Modelled by Liu Wen

As the show progressed these reservations fell away – the dresses and the longer skirted suits worked unreservedly.

The set was a wow – Place Vendome as rendered by Fritz Lang – but this did not extend enough to the clothes – usually for Chanel shows words fail me – there are not superlatives enough etc – here I was not lost for words.

Merely occasionally very impressed.