Giambattista Valli is doing a lower priced Macy's collection this October. Fans of the designer will be able to score his exquisite look for $150 or less. In theory, this is great, but I honestly don't know how I feel about it.
I love Giambattista and his designs. I met him backstage at an SF ballet presentation of his Fall 2011 collection. He's incredibly nice, creative and a stickler for detail. The pieces from his pret-a-porter collection are exquisite in person, with perfect seams, expertly executed details and everything you expect from a high end fashion line. I can only imagine what his recent haute couture debut looked like up close.
But the problem with this is that it is impossible to execute Giambattista's attention to detail and creativity at that price point. I'm all for democratic fashion and accessibility—believe me, my closet has more than enough Zara and H&M in it—but there are just some things that can't be done. Most of the time, I see a mass market diffusion line and am not convinced it accurately reflected the designer's talents. The pieces are frequently poorly made and hastily designed with seriously sub-par materials that barely even warrant the cheap prices stuck on them. Stella McCartney for Gap Kids and some of the home goods lines for Target may be the only exception.
Unlike many in the fashion community who are swooning over Karl Lagerfeld's upcoming line for Macy's, I am not setting up an alert on my calendar. I will watch to see how it turns out, but after the sub-par showing for the Matthew Williamson collaboration, the bar is set pretty low. If Karl can manage to successfully do masstige for Macy's, then maybe I'll get my hopes up for Giambattista. But until then, call me a skeptic.