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

Fashion Couturier Brix Smith-Start

Gok’s Clothes Roadshow last week reached its Channel 4 London fashion finale.

Whilst Saint Gok is the centre-piece of this show I enjoy Brix Smith-Start’s high-fashion mix just as much.

A thankless task potentially as she flies the flag of Haute Couture against Gok Wan’s creative re-constructing of High Street wares in these times of tightly controlled purse strings. And though more often than not the vanquished in the catwalk showdowns she always responds in good grace and spirit.

In Gok’s Fashion Fix she was teamed up initially with fashion buyers from Harrods, Selfridges and Browns but only Brix stuck around for subsequent fashion head to heads against this clothes magician.

And in this series she got even, literally as Gok would say – drawing the series to a close!

I enjoy too her trips around Britain to our fashion sites of creative excellence – Burberry, Barbour, Gina, Christys, Dents, Garrard among others were visited this series where each produced a specially commissioned Brix piece – lucky her! – ending this series with a Matthew Williamson gown – celebrating the craft as well as the art of British fashion.

I think though she should have a show of her own – haute couture is art as fashion, fashion as art – and if priced beyond most of us we can still appreciate dream and aspire.