Giambattista Valli was thinking of “porcelain goddesses” for his appropriately fragile and delicate haute couture show, its runway decorated with classical statuary draped in garlands of white hydrangea.
In a nod to Capodimonte, Italy’s royal Neapolitan ceramic workshop, Valli married that fragility exquisite appliqué of lace and massed groupings of organza carnations decorating the hem of a short, full skirt to the city’s famed menswear tailoring, with structured jackets made from an innovative shadowy organza and paper fabric that resembled the interlining used to create shape in a bespoke suit coat, and the playful effect of an “unfinished” sleeve, hanging from its shoulder seam as though picked up from the tailor’s table in mid-process, revealing a flash of flesh.
There was Wedgwood porcelain too, evoked in pretty rococo scrolls of white ribbon embroidery on that company’s signature clear sky-blue, and Meissen and Sèvres too, for picturesque decoration of tiny, multicolored blossoms scattered on diaphanous lace skirtsm Valli likened the effect to “winter flora in a winter greenhouse” and there was certainly a lightness here that evoked St. Petersburg’s white nights rather than a gloomy winter as well as chinoiserie scenes and three-dimensional butterflies that flitted across those icy blue skies and lighted on the blossoms. There were tunic effects suggested by short dresses worn over those clinging, trailing skirts; these elements can of course be separated to create the shapely little cocktail dresses for which Valli is celebrated. As ever, Luigi Scialanga’s beautiful jewels accented the softness with a tougher edge ribbon “belts” in tarnished steel, and tiaras with the neoclassical elements, including goddesses, putti, and crescent moons, similar to those used by the great late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century furniture makers to embellish their own spectacularly crafted creations.
Valli’s finale, of wafting, blossoming lace sheath dresses, was anchored by a dramatic trio of gowns in blocks of surprisingly potent color combinations like tropical birds let loose in his flowering conservatory.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accesssories
Photo credit/Source: VOGUE
Photography by Yannis Vlamos / InDigitalteam / GoRunway
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