Thursday 10 November 2011

To buy or not to buy: my guide to the Versace for H&M collection

(P.S. This post is for the women’s collection but my husband, Adam, will be guest posting his take on the men’s collection tomorrow on bonjour-singapore. You don’t wanna miss that!)

Love these studded leather pieces but they're not
a smart investment if you live in Singapore
With just one more week to go, the final countdown for the launch of H&M’s collaboration collection with Versace in Singapore and worldwide has now started.

But unlike most of the blogs and magazines which have been encouraging you to buy them (well they don’t need to push hard), I will take the objective line and dish out advice on what you (from a Singapore perspective) should be fighting tooth and nail for, and the stuff that will only be good for eBay listings or the back of your closet.

Well, I’ll try my best anyway. Let’s face it, you won’t really be listening too hard when those doors open and the grab begins. You will want anything you can get your hands on from the collection is what can be called, bold and beautiful.

And the logic we use is: this is a one-time collaboration which will enter in fashion history so it’s worth the investment right? You can keep making excuses but that is exactly why you have to stop, think and plan now before the awaited day (17th Nov) is upon us!

There are important question you have to ask yourself before you get in that queue and hand out your credit card. I know I’m sounding more like my husband than a bonafida fashionista now but I’ve learned it the hard (and most expensive) way that not everything that looks good on a model will necessary look good in reality. And most of all, not everything with a designer name attached to it is worth the hefty hundreds of dollars price tag.

It’s all about complementing with your personal style, adding a dash of excitement and experimentation to your existing wardrobe, realistic lifestyle and the place you happen to live in.
In this case, it is Singapore, where humidity can put you off trying to look stylish and favouring a pair of hotpants and linen cotton as party-wear rather than a bejewelled mini dress like the one in the collection.

So, if you agree with what I’m saying but your heart is still set on those frocks, check out my picks of the best and most wearable items along with some tips to make them your own:


Silk printed scarf: a Versace signature, the printed scarf will never go out of fashion. This scarf is perfect to add an edge to your LBD, shirt and jeans or you can play it up by teaming it with more clashing prints like I would do.

Bustier (below): This silk bustier has just enough colour to make it stand out. It will look great with a black maxi skirt, tailored trousers (black or even hot pink if you dare!), or even under a tailored jacket for a more day look.

Everything in this look is spot on... except those
 bubblegum uncomfortable-looking shoes!

Yellow shift dress: I love the bright colour of this one and the shift cut makes it more wearable and forgiving that the usual figure-hugging dresses Versace is famous for. Wear it with minimal accessories and let the colour in it shine. And whatever you do, please don’t team it with this horrible looking handbag and over-the-top accessories like it’s done here.

Black straps dress: this silk dress reminds me of the 90s, it is those big golden buttons which are meant to do that specifically. I love this dress for the flattering cut, its midi length and the simplicity which makes it easy to wear and own! This would go nicely with the scarf above and some seriously chunky heels. It also looks great with big statement golden accessories for a more stylish 90s look!

Belt: along with the scarf, I think this would definitely be the best investment. I love the slight vintage and bold  feel of the belt and its giant gold metallic ornament in the centre. I would wear this statement belt with countless outfits from simple silk dresses to jeans/shorts and blouse combo. Just work it!


Handbags: handbags are probably the worst items in such collaborations. The reason is, unless they are made with good material (mainly leather) and stitched with care, they will always look cheap. Well cheaper than they cost! The horrible printed and dated studded versions in this collaboration are definitely not worth the investment and the money. If you want to pay that much for a bag, get a real leather one (regardless of the label), or save some more and buy a second hand ageless bag that will see you through every season without looking dated. I bet no fashionista will be caught dead carrying any of these this time next year!

Glittery party dress: unless you are of the sort party queen who’s spray tanned all year long, don’t even think about it! It looks like a cheap copy of what a J Lo wanna-be would want to wear. Stay away!

Leopard print/Palm printed dress: despite the somehow ‘toned-down’ shift cut of this dress, the mere thought of leopard print/palm combo print wrapped around me (or anyone for the matter, even a model) makes me sick! A print like this is better kept to minimal accessories, case in point the scarf. No dresses, tops or skirts please.

Short red dress: too clingy, too short and too deja-vu. Unless Kim Kardashian is your style icon, this dress is definitely a no-no. It might be sexy but it’s certainly not classy.

Blue heart printed fringe dress/pink version: it looks like Donatella was out of inspiration and material when she designed these dresses. To me, they look like a mish-mash of the infamous red Versace dress which January Jones wore to the Oscars, and some left over shredded fabric from a nursery’s wallpaper. Here you go, blue for boys and pink for girls!

If you have the attitude and persona to pull it off then by all means go for…

Printed leggings: not for the faint-hearted but these leggings rock! They’re certainly not very humidity-friendly (imagine how sticky they can get!) but if you’re on holiday and you feel like expressing your colourful personality (I don’t imagine anyone wearing these to be dull!), the go for it! I definitely would! Although a bit ‘out there’, these leggings can be toned down if teamed with plain top or dress, or played up for some serious fun look!

Palm blue/green dress: it’s not usually my style but I love the colour combo and details in this number. This is a fun dress which will definitely be an attention- grabber but the only trick to rock it, is knowing that you look great in it and carrying it with confidence.