EVEN those who don’t inhabit the hyper-real realms of couture will know Giambattista Valli’s handiwork. He’s the man behind one of Amal Clooney’s wedding weekend looks and the man behind Rihanna’s pink froufrou confection, worn at the Grammy’s and which meant she could barely sit down. This is a man that knows how to make a dress – and today they came big and bulbous, taking on a floating life of their own in sweet sherbet shades and garden party paradise flowers that weaved and wound down tasselled fronts and feathered hems. Cascades of tulle made for squirty cream skirts and peplums plunged around waists, earrings serious chandeliers dangling.
There was a continuation of the long and lean silhouette that we saw among his ready-to-wear collection and there was his hallmark bubble shapes for skirts and dresses too. These were robust but beautiful forces to be reckoned with, huge bug-eyed shades to complete a contemporary and youthful look that Valli has managed to coin, albeit one that might not be all that easy to walk in (Rihanna, we assume, can testify).
GIAMBATTISTA VALLI’s client does not have a day life, or if she does he has no interest in clothing her for it in couture. He’s quite a pragmatic guy and he’s probably fine with her wearing a T-shirt and J Brand jeans during the day – possibly with one of his Moncler coats – but at night she’s all his.
His show today was womanly and masterful, sticking in general to the shapes that he favours – a shell top, a swollen-bellied skirt, a full length coat to which he added a high embroidered cummerbund-style waist.
Frills were everywhere, often defining the shoulders and sleeves, and motifs from the natural world were there in many of his gowns – a tree of life jacquard, an iridescent rose print, silk embroidered flowers and embroidered corsets of petals.
It appeared to be less aimed at the nightclub-dancing social butterfly he is often associated with, but then they like him have grown up together.
His sugar almond finales have become a kind of tradition in their feminine grandeur and this one didn’t disappoint.
IF there’s one thing that Giambattista Valli knows how to do it’s pretty and this collection could have almost been designed with a Valentine’s Day theme in mind – such was its spread of red and pink, rose-strewn, typically lovely creations.
Shapes were soft to match the colours – this was a romantic collection of lace-layers and botanical prints, metallic shine and ruby-maroon shades for plunge-front but shapely dresses and caped coats.
It wasn’t cutting edge but it doesn’t need to be – that would defy the point of what Valli does – and what he does do, he does very well.
To shop more visit: www.giambattistavalli.com or click below to shop the full Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Giambattista Valli collection:
Giambattista Valli put the shirt in the spotlight this evening for a very beautiful collection that moved away from the stiff cocoon shapes we’ve been so used to seeing from him in seasons past and, instead, moved into more feminine and glamorous territory.
This was about a well-travelled woman who was oh-so sophisticated with it. Sunglasses (a collaboration with Moscot) worn with each and every look, from day through to eveningwear, for movie star status; twisted turbans that very much called Paul Bowles’sThe Sheltering Sky to mind; and a pleasing mix and match of monochrome stripes to blooms – mimosa, wisteria and anemone.Embroideries were fresh and vibrant throughout and came on wonderful silk evening dresses where again that shirt appeared for the tops of ballgowns whose skirts were comprised of wonderful layers of feather and taffeta, huge in shape and smudged to impressionistic effect with fantastic details – goldfinch prints and yet more embroidery, flowers very literally taking to bloom here.
Silhouettes here were much closer to the body, embracing of a girl’s shape. And although elaborate and grand, these were pieces that the girls could still very much move in, both practically and in terms of where their day would take them: shirt dresses for out and about during the day, later whipped up into a beautiful ballgown frenzy.