On October 24th, the collection was revealed in full to 400 excited guests at Rome's Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, a palace home to the best-known private art gallery in Rome. Ahead of the runway show, Valli acknowledges the vast contrast between the two fashion entities: a fast-fashion giant and traditional couture designer, calling the two "opposite universe[s]" and noting that the opportunity to reach an entirely new generation is "extraordinary."
The collection is sure to speak to the 'woke' Gen Zers too, with Valli having no woman or man in mind during the creative process, rather an entity. "Everybody can wear it how they want it... the collection is about an entity, a state of mind, it’s not about physically who you are, it’s just you. This is a message that [has been in my] head my whole life," he says, later demonstrating his point with a diverse set of models who mixed and matched the collections more masculine pieces - oversized hoodies, denim jackets and leopard print pants - with tulle skirts, lace booties and shades of pink.
Of staying relevant in the industry's ever-changing landscape, Valli says, "I don’t care about fashion. I don’t care about the times of fashion, I don’t care about trends, I just do my own thing. I write chapters of the same book and every time there is an evolution."
Despite the collection being sold through such a huge retailer, Valli believes his timeless pieces will withstand the moreish fast-fashion attitude. "It’s not really my personality to do something and then the season after do the opposite and then you have to trash everything from the season before, and this is the kind of economic thing that you build up in the mind of people that it’s ‘out of fashion and you need to buy more.’"
With guests moving to the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj's courtyard for champagne and a buffet of traditional pasta and cheeses after the runway, those who were quick off the mark left instead to the after-party location, the exuberantly chic Grand Hotel Plaza, opposite which the collection was available to shop for the second time ahead of its November 7 launch. After an almost instantaneous clear out, large H&M bags were coat checked and the crowd moved to the plaza's dancefloor to do what Valli had declared was next on his list: "Party tonight."
Giambattista Valli x H&M will be available in stores and online on November 7th.