Giambattista Valli toughens up his act
A welcome change of pace by Giambattista Valli who added a tougher tone to his signature floral romanticism in a fine performance inside the Palais des Congrès on Monday.
Valli found a great space inside the giant convention center, built in the 1970s and currently being renovated. Of late, Valli has received criticism for failing to break new ground, and endlessly repeating his tried and tested haute Roman elegance formulas. But this fall 2019 collection felt like a significant and timely departure.
A pure modernist space with bizarre parallelogram windows, illuminated by vertical fluorescent lighting covered with gels. Pre-show, a small army of street photographers had gone into a feeding frenzy scrambling for photos of the squadrons of "It" gals – from Lauren Santo Domingo to Bianca Brandolini – who are Giambattista’s loyal fans.
Valli broke new ground from his opening looks; boyfriend jackets done in Impressionist prints, worn over pink chiffon frocks. Nattily cut motor-biker blousons with dropped Raglan shoulders; beautiful mini waistcoats with embroidery and frocking; and a clever one-piece combo of culottes and mechanic’s jacket.
“You see, we’ve been working pretty hard,” smiled the notoriously industrious Valli, standing beside a look-board that featured images of Monet’s garden at Giverny; and glossy girls kissing by Guy Bourdin.
That mix captured his new mood. As did one rock goddess patent leather coat worn with see-through top and lace bra, black skirt and bourgeois S&M booties that added a great dash of naughtiness to his oeuvre. A clever idea and a great game-changing look for Valli.
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