Louvered panels hovering high above the Giambattista Valli runway cast evocative shadows on his wide, pale-carpeted runway, like morning sunlight streaking the imprint of the shutters on the bedroom walls of a Mediterranean villa. “Where do you come from?” asked the girl on the sound track. “I just travel,” answered the guy.
This relaxed, devil-may-care, holiday-in-the-sun attitude colored Valli’s seductive collection, he describes it “a late-sixties, early-seventies kind of freedom and eccentricity,” and his mood board also included images of Diana Vreeland in the thirties and forties, having lunch by the pool with a towel wrapped insouciantly, but perfectly around her, and a scarf wrapped as a turbaned bandana.
Enjoy the Giambattista Valli Fall 2014 Couture show at the end of this post!
The show opened with dresses that suggested the Valli girl had tumbled lazily out of bed or the pool, and shrugged on her partner’s pajamas (rolling the pant hems up) or stripey cotton shirt, and wrapped a towel or two (in black and white ticking stripes) carelessly around her, evoking the look of a beauty in an Asian painting.
That boyfriend shirt might be worn with a mermaid skirt in pretty yellow and green daisy-patterned lace, or a pajama top with a fabulous ball skirt of countless chiffon ruffles, ombré-shaded from off-white through citrus yellow or green, or from blush pink to magenta or in thick fronds of powder-blue ostrich plumes.
The blossoms of wisteria, and the poppies and roses that were scattered across airy tulle dresses were taken directly from the oil-dabbed flora in the sunlight-filled paintings of the Belle Epoque Spanish artist Joaquin Sorolla, a friend of John Singer Sargent, whilst flowers were also worked in sequins that had a pixelated effect, like overscale needlepoint stitches.
It was all as light as a gentle sirocco blowing in from the Aegean to take the sultry heat off the day but as Giambattista Valli says, his clients don’t need to wrap up against the cold, and if they do, he proposes they shrug a 1920s monkey-fur rug over their pajama’d shoulders and wear it like a high drama cape. (The “monkey” in this instance is cleverly simulated with panels of goat-hair fronds).
Amongst all those enchanting ballet-length flowering dresses and full-blown ball gowns, Valli also sent out some subtle crepe dresses in bone white or charcoal black that shows he knows his way around a flou atelier. The drop-dead black crepe dress worn under that “monkey” cape was so good that Valli showed two versions of it so you could see the pyramid cutout in back. That’s modern couture chic.
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
The House of Giambattista Valli & VOGUE
Photos by Kevin Tachman & Yannis Vlamos (Indigitalimages)
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Photos by ANDREA JANKE via Instagram