Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Haute Couture | Romanticism by Giambattista Valli

Paris Haute Couture - Giambattista Valli Couture Spring/Summer 2012

With 24 hours to go before his spring haute couture show that he presented in the ravishing Louis Seize salons of the Hotel de Crillon, Giambattista Valli (working in the ravishing eighteenth-century rooms of his own fashion headquarters a stone's throw from the Rue de Faubourg Saint Honoré) is sporting his war wounds - fingers wrapped in plasters from the stabbing pins which he has been tweaking the 40-something ensembles that he is fitting in his characteristically hands-on way. The starting point for the collection is Valli's desire to "support the work of all couture ateliers - the embroidery one, the flower one, the fabric one, the lace - and going to the memories of what couture is for me, but in a light, modern way."

Valli always begins work on a classic Stockman mannequin - and that means that this season everything originates with a waist, with emphatic peplums blooming out below the hourglass torso (shaped with all Valli corsets), and elaborate draped scarf collars blossoming above. Valli's subtle couture touches include lace flowers that are cut out and re-appliquéd to look like flights of butterflies trembling on a sprig of spring blossom, puffy organza blooms garlanding necklines, and sprays of hydrangeas that will frame his model's faces. Solid sequin gowns in black or plum are embroidered to graduate from tiny paillettes at the neckline to disc sequins at the hem, turning them into exquisite waterfalls of reflected light as the wearer moves.

Valli's longtime collaborator Luigi Scialanga, menawhile, has sourced a storied bronze foundry in Rome to create the handmade silvered bronze-flower necklaces and belts that will cinch the designer's exquisite, drifting chiffon frocks. "I love the idea of wearability," says Valli, and his second foray into haute couture bids fair to increase his already enviable roster of clients that include, beyond his own celebrated pantheon of best-dressed European beauties, young and well-heeled gals in China, Russia, the Middle East, and North and South America.

Giambattista Valli's second haute couture collection was a preternaturally assured study in the marriage of old-school couture techniques with desirable contemporary clothing - plane and palazzo life. True, the thick ivory wool cape that opened the show (with ivory-flower epaulets tumbling from the shoulders), and a trumpet-gored cocktail frock dense with swags of bugle-bead embroidery seemed as sculptural as the clothes created by the great Roman couturiers Capucci and Valentino in the Dolce Vita sixties. But a lily-scented breeze wafted through the rest of the collection, scattering the florets from hydrangea blooms across fragile lace and chiffon skirts, and photo prints of those flowers (in different scales, and in heady shades of rose and scarlet) over cloudy organza crinoline skirts. A gleaming black sequin skirt revealed panels of filmy black lace that shadowed a bare leg when the model moved. A black bouclé jacket had its shoulder cut out and prettily encircled with blossoms.

Sometimes the breeze had a decidedly lily-of-the-valley fragrance, because at times those jackets with their New Look peplums ("it's all about the waist," says Valli) and molded bodies deftly cut to bloom into an exuberant bow collar; the asymmetrically draped chiffon evening gown; and the giddy romanticism of tiny florets (in organza or biscuit porcelain) scattered as trimming all seemed like persuasive propositions for a storied couture house on the Avenue Montaigne. But referential as he many occasionally be, Valli's voice is always loud and clear. Those airy chiffon pieces, for instance, were anchored wit Luigi Scialanga'a silvered bronze belts and necklaces, cast at a Roman foundry to resemble thick cords, or giant flower faces. A sleeveless lacquered black crocodile jacket with an exaggerated peplum was crafted from skins sliced so fine that it seemed almost as weightless as the ivory lace skirt that it was shown with. "I love the idea of wearability," says Valli, bringing an old-fashioned idea of what couture should be firmly into the twenty-first century.

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: VOGUE
Photography: Alessandro Viero/GoRunway & Kevin Tachman

Enjoy my previous Giambattista Valli Couture post -

'Giambatista Valli's Couture' Fall/Winter 2011/12'



Shagun said...

Mesmerizing romanticism in couture by Valli.Stunning designs..sexy in a glamorous look.My favorite is exquisite, black lace gown with sequin inserts.Awesome editorial, dear Andrea!!!...Cheers, Shagun

Christina said...

Lovely dress! Its stunning but I love the black dresses(maybe because its one of my fav colors, idk). Shagun is right they are all sexy.

Christina @ Mens Tennis Shoes

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