Giambattista Valli knows what works. His shows do not require elaborate set pieces, odes to different cities, or specific muses. He knows exactly what his client base wants, and craves, and willingly provides the fix season after season. Casual is not in his vocabulary, nor would we want it there anyway. A Valli couture runway is nothing short of a dreamscape, coated in feminine beauty and mystique; it is a kaleidoscope of every woman’s fantasy, regardless of there ever being an appropriate occasion to wear an oversized tulle gown, but it is fun to dream, no?
Valli’s couture collection began with a series of thigh high mini dresses, with models teetering on needle thin black platform stilettos. The racy connotations were balanced beautifully by jewel encrusted floral patterns and garments that gently hugged the curves of the body, still allowing for an air of youthful modesty. Short, pastel tulle dresses were intermingled alongside the floral mosaic, some accompanied by floor sweeping trains and delicate black ballet flats. With every new look, the drama increased with new details: a baby pink sheath dress topped with oversized puffy roses on each shoulder, a white tulle high/low skirt topped with a long sleeved, embellished crop top, until the runway finally gave way to the gowns Valli knows his audience craves. There was a Greek Goddess air apparent in the draping of flowing gowns, alongside sheer numbers covered in floral appliqués, modest with long sleeves and high necklines. With each look the volume seemed to increase until the unmistakable Valli tulle flooded the runway pink and black confections. Each continuing with the high/low drama followed by trains as wide as as the floor could hold. Oversized and dramatic, yet appearing light as air.
The collection was held in an open gallery in the Petit Palais and was attended by an enthusiastic Celine Dion, seated next to Anna Wintour, as well as the front row armada of Olivia Palermo, Lauren Santo Domingo and Bianca Brandolini, among others. Also in attendance was Valli’s new investor François Pinault of Kering, who most likely appreciated the well deserved standing ovation Valli received at the close of his show, as much as the designer himself.
Written by ELIZABETH KRAMSKY
Photos by GERSON LIRIO
Visual Editor OLGA SOROKINA