The fashion world is pretty much jizzing itself over the new Versace for H&M collaboration. The clothes will be in stores November 19th, but last night, celebrities and fashion folk took over Pier 57 on the Hudson river for an exclusive runway show. The red carpet was black, the walls were covered with crocodiles, and the stars dressed up in their brightest, most colorful prints, for once.
Sorry Chuck D, but I'm totally buying into the hype. Emma Roberts' two-piecer is madness, but only Versace can make a cherry blossom print look totes appropes for the club. It's hard to make out the details of Emma's bag with the crocodile wallpaper in the background, but it's a great shape for an evening bag, although I must say the studding is very haphazardly done. Jessica Alba's high ponytail is standing taller than she is, but I bet that dress is a stunner with better posture. Crap, I feel a bout of uncontrollable covetousness for the new Versace for H&M line coming on.
More Versace for H&M dresses! Donatella has really hit a home run with this collaboration. Selma Blair and Chloe Moretz show how easy it is to look like that girl who threw on a dress, did her makeup in the car, and still showed up besting everyone. All you need is a simple, brightly colored shift dress with a touch of sparkle, dramatic eye make-up, and a pair of sky high heels. Kaylee DeFer reminds me of Malin Akerman and also my best friend from elementary school after she got a crimper for her birthday. It's a lot of look, but then again, she's standing in front of a crocodile and palm tree wall, wearing a dress with armpit fringe that will be sold to the general public, so the threshold for "a lot" is considerably higher than usual at this event.
I have a feeling the black dress Jennifer Hudson is wearing will probably sell out the fastest of all the H&M dresses. It's silky and flattering and the kind of dress that can work for a variety of occasions. Love that she balanced out the softness of this dress with a pair of lace-up booties. Abbie Cornish is in the first hideous shirt of the night. Michelle Harper is an old hand at color blocking—so much so that she's somehow matched the colors of her outfit to the colors on the wall. Also, I now know what a top-knot looks like when the sides of your head are shaved, so thank you Michelle.
Sophia Coppola is wearing my personal favorite from the collection—a simple, silk sheath dress with cut-outs at the shoulder. Blake Lively didn't take any fashion risks, but as usual, I'm blinded by her sun-kissed, perfectly tousled hair and impressive shelf of cleavage. I wish I could exude the 'tude on Debbie Harry's face. It's like, "Yeah I look hot in lace tights, a little pinafore dress and shrug, but I WILL cut you if you cross me."
Speaking of impressive boob shelves—step down Blake Lively, Coco Rocha is ascending to the throne. I like that everyone else showed up in Versace or at least dressed very much in the spirit of Versace, and Coco Rocha showed up looking like a naughty Rapunzel. Hey, if I could, I would too. Ke$ha, god bless her, somehow made a leopard print gown look like the bathrobe she parties in. Which has its own strange appeal.
The new Versace for H&M collaboration has a lot of options for men too. You can dress in head-to-toe bright pink like Mark Ronson. Or do like blogger Bryan Boy and wear a palm tree, multi-colored, spotted jacket around your shoulders like it's a Ralph Lauren sweater set. Or you could choose to wear your own adorable duffle coat, like Joseph Altuzarra.
Dude, the fitted casual jacket over a formal gown thing just works. Uma gives us some very toned leg, Byrdie Bell always looks stiff and perfectly coiffed, even when her dress is soft and flowy, and designer Maria Cornejo's outfit is inspirational and aspirational because I want to look like that when I get older.
Can you hate prints and still love Versace? Tinsley Mortimer's sparkly zigzag print looks tacky and her beauty pageant hair is not helping. Wendy Lam did a brilliant job mixing a studded black top with a cheetah print dress. Allegra Versace is in a classic Versace print. A print like that makes a peplum look almost... edgy?
Francesca and Antonio Versace struck the right balance between class and sleaze (kind of like the brand, huh). Francesca's bondage bustier top, in particular, looks refreshingly low-key with a pair of simple black trousers. Caroline Sieber's silver dress is pure liquid hotness. Gianni would have been proud. Hanneli Mustaparta stands out in minimalist separates. At a Versace show, the kids in loud prints are the ones who blend in.
I've been hard on the little black dress in the past, but I really appreciate a beautifully thought out all-black outfit. Anna Sui added texture with a fuzzy black jacket. Zhou Bichang did as well with her studded black top, and Linda Evangelista went all What is the Matrix? on us in a leather trench.
Zachary Quinto broke out the shiny suit; Chace Crawford broke out the cashmere scarf. Alexander Wang and Zoe Kravitz, meanwhile, look like cool kids who only go to Miami when Art Basel is happening.
Well, I had to save the best for last. Alan Cumming is one of few men who can pull off head-to-toe zebra print. Apparently Prince and Nicki Minaj performed together at the Versace show, which is like the cosmic melding of so many wet dreams. Designer Donatella, here with H&M Creative Advisor Margareta van den Bosch, is the woman most of us will never be, for better or worse. But at the very least, some of us can now the afford the dress she's wearing.