Monday, October 15, 2007

Roberto Cavalli for H&M

Thoughts coming in

I've been keeping my ear to the ground for news about Robert Cavalli working for H&M. It certainly was a surprise to hear that he had been the next designer selected to do a capsule collection for H&M. Cavalli, with his endless animal prints, Eurotrash sensibility, and Italian disregard for typical restraint has made him a darling for media-getting celebrities. But how well does that really translate into a mass market?

I am not one to be close-minded when it comes to fashion (Alison and Tavi kind of laugh at how eagerly I throw myself into my magazines), but I did have certain reservations about the idea. Would Cavalli really know how to cut for real people who did not have publicists and stylists and personal trainers? His ready-to-wear has never really been that notable and his accessories are usually pretty run-of-the-mill, over-the-top stuff attracts people who are attracted to shiny objects. Which is to say, that he makes shiny objects. Or stretchy. Or print-y. Leopard print-y.

There are other people doing trenchcoats right now at pretty okay price points that are far more interesting than this. Mediocre fit and not a particularly great color either.

I feel the suit cut isn't as flattering as other suits right now. The lines are a bit looser than I feel H&M's target audience is looking for. Shoes are nice, if plain. I'm wondering what that shirt looks like underneath.

I do not understand this knit. Other people have done chunky knits better and in far more interesting ways. There are better alternatives, even at the price H&M will probably offer this. Again, the shirt does prove intriguing. It'd be nice to see more collar variety introduced into the masses.

I don't know how I feel about a one-button, peak-lapel suit in navy. Especially if that the navy isn't really lustrous, and the photo makes me doubt that it is. Same shirt collar as 3, but in a monochrome. I will concede that this suit is much better cut than the previous one.

I'll be surprised if it's real suede. Perhaps just treated canvas? I don't know. The shape is nice, but some of the lines feel a little off.

Is anyone else getting a slightly feminine vibe off of these? I don't know. The height of the boot and the construction seems to set off the heel. And in my book, men's shoes should not be emphasizing the heel.

Those look like French cuffs. If so, I might be compelled. The tie appears to have some sort of printing on it. Animal print? Oy.

Do I hate it? No. Do I love it? No. Do I see reason to keep watch? Certainly. Although I am a bit confounded by certain choices in terms of fit and color, I don't think this isn't without merits. This  is certainly a type of style that is not commonly made available to the average Joe, which is a nice thing. I believe that this is an honest (if not completely successful) attempt to democratize fashion.

But my real hope is that designer collections like this will make the general public more aware about what's going on. I'm not insisting that everyone try to be a trendsetter or follow the designers with every season, but a general awareness of the present fashion scene does allow for one to avoid making an awkward faux pas.

Concept — C; It's an average collection of average clothing.
Wearability — B; Odd cuts hurt this grade, but dressy ready-to-wear at a reasonable price is never a bad thing.
Design — ?; Without really examining it, I can't really make any judgment call here.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

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