Giambattista Valli showed his couture collection beneath a ceiling alive with scrolling tendrils of naturalistic plasterwork flowers and foliage in the exquisite Sicilian theater of the Italian ambassador’s residence (built in 1732 as the Hôtel de la Rochefoucauld-Doudeauville). It was a perfect setting for the collection, inspired, as Valli explained, by “flora and fauna.” These twin themes tidily divided the show, which opened with a worldly animalier theme tiger, ocelot, and leopard prints and weaves, as well as oversize python and crocodile and alligator scales all reinterpreted in Dolce Vita black and white. Valli was thinking of “wild animals in the shadows,” and some pieces were literally veiled in black tulle.
Enjoy Giambattista Valli Couture fashionshow video at the end of this post! LoL, Andrea
The mysterious layering continued with elaborate braid trelliswork that created a cobweb effect over the prints beneath, or impasto embroidery of flowers that muddled the big cat motifs. Valli stayed true to the classic mid-century couture silhouettes that he has made so much his own: slender-waisted coatdresses belling to full, rounded skirts, cut either to the prim mid-calf or scythed short enough to reveal a great sweep of leg (the legendary taste maven Countess Cristiana Brandolini, sitting across the runway from her granddaughter, the It Girl Bianca, reveal the range of Valli fans and their different sartorial needs). Inventive and luxurious fabrics and embellishments included crisp white faille with a dramatic band of hand-cut velvet black alligator scales down the front and a short, Watteau-back coatdress embroidered with fringed bugle-bead eyelashes.
Full, draped ball-dress skirts parted to reveal slender-legged pants beneath (“palazzo pajamas so Italian, no?” said Valli). Then the mood changed and the essence of primavera wafted into the room with the prettiest dresses for a blushing debutante, in shades of nymph’s-thigh pink and soft mauve. Valli found a cache of exquisite porcelain flowers at auction, of the type used to decorate painted tole chandeliers in the eighteenth century, and wanted to capture “the three-dimensional lightness of translucent Meissen porcelain” in these enchanting, flora-inspired pieces. Embroideries gave the illusion of print, with fondant-pink faille scrolled with a medieval rose design in silver tinsel thread or full skirts densely scattered with blossoms made from organza or feathers.
Valli’s long-term collaborator, jeweler Luigi Scialanga, meanwhile, had incorporated those antique china blooms into his magnificent cast-bronze tiaras, necklaces, and waist-cinchers that encircled the wearer in flowering branches and gave strength to the fragility.
Selections y ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: © VOGUE
Photography by © Marcus Tondo InDigitalTeam/GoRunway
Candid by © Kevin Tachman
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