19 11 / 2011

The buzz at the front lines of the Versace x H&M opening is just as expected and it’s Bedlam all over Manhattan. Because the opportunity for label-conscious New Yorkers to snag something that carries the blessing of the Queen Mother of Eurotrash at H&M prices is too good to pass up. The Racked team has been liveblogging the inaugural in-store day of the highly anticipated collaboration since the early morning hours and the scene involved lines snaking around city blocks, wristbands for entry, and mounds of leopard print. Because I believe that the only thing worth waking up for that early on a Saturday morning is free food, I decided to follow the chaos from my couch. Perusing the H&M website, I refreshed my initial impression of the collab after viewing the sneak peak a few weeks ago. Ultra-body con dresses with hooker-mesh illusion panels up the side, studded leather jackets, and Kool-aid colored leopard print skirts scream the definitive message. THIS IS VERSACE!!

(From top left: “Stampa” Dress, $129; “Stampa” Jeans, $69.95; “Pelle Borchie” Skirt, $129; “Bottoni Oro” Dress, $149)

Dressing like an Albanian club owner’s trophy wife is not quite my thing, but different strokes for different folks. As long as the price is right, and it’s understandable that wallet-watching Versace fans will flip for this collection. Also, if I had the disposable income to spend on a Showgirls-style alter-ego wardrobe, I could see myself in one or two of the dresses:

(“Frange” Dress, $199; “Pelle Borchie” Leather Jacket, $299)

The one hitch about this high/low retail fusion is that the designer mandate allows the company to hike the prices up way beyond the H&M range. The cheapest thing on the menu is a pair of lame’ leggings for 29.99, while most of the dresses sell for $150-$300. No fooling. Donatella is playing a sick joke on every person braving the sudden drop in temperatures to wait for the release of her “accessible collaboration” with H&M. Nonetheless, people don’t seem to be discouraged from purchasing. The most money spent today on the merchandise was reportedly $9,000 according to Racked. And so continues the ironic cycle that Versace epitomizes, in which people drop more and more cash to make it themselves look cheap. Only now, it’s marginally cheaper to do so! 

But Nomi Malone likes conspicuous consumption, and would resoundingly approve.