“I dress real women. I don’t want to make a kind of couture that is detached and distant,” said Giambattista Valli.
The fact that he knows the women he knows on a social basis makes Valli an old-school designer in a certain waya grandchild of the joyful, very personal tradition of Roman haute dressmaking that flows from the Alta Moda days of Valentino Garavani’s youth in the late fifties. He carries all that easy, friendly Italian joie de vivre with him in his DNA, plus the experience he gained in working for Roberto Capucci, the master of sculptural form, when he was a youngster. But still, he’s a modern guy.
All of that has a bearing on what he showed to his young clientele, leggy girls who are scanning for things to make them feel extra-specially good at summer events. In a nutshell: pretty dresses, with a sparkly, bejeweled impact. He’d taken inspiration, he said, from the Impressionists “flowers, reflected in water” though the source never read in any literal manner. The work was all in structured silhouettes, decorated with vibrantly colored floriform embroidery intense red, vivid blue which climbed up on bodices, and grew down from necklines.
To begin with, it was all short. Curvilinear skirts, some gathered upward at the front, others with molded panniers, a couple cut longer in back to swoop into scrolls in the front exactly the sort of thing sent out to please young Hollywood actresses who don’t feel comfortable in longer lengths. Floor-sweeping looks followed. Most outstanding: a beautiful strapless dress with a pale ivory whoosh of tulle skirt and a pale pink bodice with a veiled flower embroidery, anchored with a deep black ribbon, tied in a bow. Haute couture often takes many words to describe that’s the nature of its inherently complex handwork, but when it hits the eye with that kind of simplicity and freshness, that’s success.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE
Stills: Kevin Tachman / VOGUE
Runway: Photos by Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages
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