When H&M unveiled its 2019 designer collab on May the 23rd, middle-class fashionistas from all around the world went crazy.
The Giambattista Valli x H&M collection was meant to be the most glamorous one thus far, being artfully revealed at the amfAR gala in Cannes. Always a bandwagon-kind-of-girl, the unavoidable Instagram tidal wave caught me by surprise during the coffee break when, with a cappuccino y one hand and my phone in the other, I learned that a limited stock pre-sale was happening on the 25th before the official release on November. Hallelujah!
For a bit of context, I should probably clarify that my romantic story with H&M designer collections has been quite a tragic one: during the 2015 Balmain launch I somehow managed to mess up the dates and miss it; the 2017 Erdem collection was sold out before I had the chance to get one of their flowing Pre-Raphaelite gowns. In both occasions, I ended up feeling so sorry for myself, I would spend my days sighing and out of spirits – the vivid image of the Brontës heroines, Catherine Earnshaw in the moorlands moaning for lost
love dresses… Oh, alas. Hence, I was determined to succeed this time.
A big believer in the Go big or go home motto, my initial impulse was buying one of the dreamy tulle extravaganzas, but as Sebastian kindly reminded me, the last cocktail dress I purchased is still hanging on the original plastic cover, not a chance to wear it. After all, how many opportunities has got the average professional woman to wear something that excessive a year? One, maybe two, if you are lucky. I could for sure wear my new flamboyant Valli to go to the groceries as Crazy Rich Asians character muse Heart Evangelista notoriously said once, right? But in the end, I decided to be a bit rational this time and buy something that would certainly work better with my current lifestyle. Well, most of us bloggers are not Chiara Ferragni, are we?
With this mind, I checked the collection and immediately thought I could manage to fit the necklace in my existing wardrobe without much of a headache. On Saturday, I woke up early, prepared myself some tea and checked the launch time again. It was being released at 10:00 CET, so I entered the website at 9:00 a.m. and saw that the page showed a banner confirming the release at the expected time. At this point, I started feeling slightly nervous and texted a friend to see if she was already connected to the website too. Just to reassure me. Yes, I am that kind of person, what can I say?
At 9:20 a.m. and after the second green jasmine teacup, the initial butterflies in my stomach were more like that Mothra creature from the Godzilla films. Sebastian came back from his Saturday morning basketball game to find me still trying to play cool (as if…). “Just chilling”, I painfully lied, “Waiting for that H&M thing to be online, you know?”. Yeah, he knew. “Not nervous?”, he laughed and then he went for a shower.
At 9:45 a.m. I left any concealing strategy (and all hope) behind. It was my third cup of tea in a row and I was kind of worried I could start hearing the colours any time. Because a theine overdose is just what you need to start your weekend the right way.
I maniacally started refreshing the website at 9:55 a.m. During the 2017 Erdem doom-day, that was the main reason I wasn’t able to add the dresses to my shopping cart in time. It was not happening again, folks.
At 09:59 Apocalypse Now OST was playing in the background. Sebastian was kind of scared at this point and scrupulously keeping the P.A.S.D (Panicking Allegra Security Distance) at all times. That´s my man…
Then it was 10:00 a.m., 10.02 a.m. and 10:05 a.m. and the website was still loading. You are totally rightful to guess I was now on a state of sartorial red code. It didn’t matter how many times I would refresh, the catalogue was not updated yet. I tried my luck with the Spanish website at the same time. Nothing. I suddenly began thinking the page or server collapsed due to the number of people connected at the same time and totally panicked.
At 10:00 a.m. the collection was still loading. I was legitimately considering to drink all the limoncello in the freezer.
It was 10:11 a.m. when the website finally went up: “We have visual contact, sir!”, I announced to Sebastian a bit too loud, “I repeat, we have visual contact”.
I quickly added the necklace to the shopping cart straight away, didn’t even bother to look at the other options. Then I proceeded with check out and payment. The whole process took me less than a minute. Yes, I guess it is some kind of useless superpower. I am just waiting for Doctor Charles Xavier to knock on my door any day now. I opened my email searching for the order confirmation and once I verified everything was alright, I decided to breathe and make myself some lime blossom tea. I can assure you shopping is literally my cardio.
By the time I had my cup ready, I sat down again to see what else was still available on the website. Out of mere curiosity, if you please, and there it was: all the collection was gone for good in about ten minutes.
The necklace arrived four days later, packed on a lovely box and covered with silk paper. I was truly surprised on the effort the actually did with the presentation. Not bad for fast fashion production at all. The piece itself is beautifully designed although the locking clip is far from couture standards. However, it is worth to keep in mind that this is just a collaboration and not an atelier piece. Overall, I would say I am quite satisfied with the purchase – a light impression on how it feels to be a Valli girl.
For those of you who didn’t manage to grab your pieces in time, the full collection will be released on November the 7th. May the shopping odds be ever in your favour!