There are as many responses to the last November attacks as there are designers in Paris. It’s all but inevitable the subject would come up this week; designers were working on their haute couture collections when the events occurred. Giambattista Valli’s idea for his Couture N° 10 was to look at the city’s famous gardens. “It’s kind of a thank-you to Paris,” he said backstage. “You know that flowers are my obsession. This time they come from the Parc de Bagatelle, the Jardin du Luxembourg, the Palais-Royal, and the Jardin des Tuileries.”
Instagram via @andreajankeofficial direct from the show
The other ground-shifting event in Paris near that time, on a much smaller, less world consequential scale, of course, was Raf Simons’s abrupt departure from Dior. In fact, with the intense focus on flowers here, some saw a bid by Valli for the open creative director job at the LVMH house, flowers having been a preoccupation of Monsieur Dior’s, as well. Be that as it may, this was a signature Valli collection. Cue the short lengths, tailor-made for the leggy young ladies who decorated his front row. Cue the exaggerated volumes, this time focused on bishop sleeves, Watteau backs, and a handful of empire-waist gowns. (An exhibition of paintings featuring Napoleon’s sisters, Elisa, Pauline, and Caroline, proved inspirational.) And cue the by now trademark parade of tulle plissé grand finale gowns, the boldest and best in a pulsating shade of red poppy.
Sparkle and sequin were downplayed here in favor of colorful embroideries and appliqués; when Valli did employ crystals, it was in grid-like patterns as precise as his flowers were flamboyant. As a rule, the fleurs were more persuasive. They came in many forms: picked out in paillettes on an organza empire-waist dress; as swirling garlands on short-in-front/long-in-back gowns of lace macramé; and, quite prettily, intarsia-ed in a rosebush motif on a short coat in white mink. Enjoy the Giambattista Valli Spring/Summer 2016 HC runway show at the end of this post.
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Photo Credit/Source: The House of Giambattista Valli
Photos by Yannis Vlamos/Indigital.com
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A ray of sunlight pierces the Parisian skies on a cloudy January 26th, and illuminates the dome of the Grand Palais. Like a reminder of spring in the middle of winter, it signals the start of Karl Lagerfeld’s Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2016 collection show. In an exaltingly bucolic set, a wooden house with closed shutters blends in with the vegetation. The door opens to reveal the first silhouettes. One by one, seeming to slow their pace to better take advantage of the moment, the models wander through this Eden.