PARIS, France — The work of Giambattista Valli is quite specific. He is a designer of dresses — ethereal, sculptural and generally occasion-oriented. His stylistic span, however, is much bigger and he offered proof of this at today's show. The opening look — all black, very slim and oddly sporty — felt decidedly non-Valli, at least the dressy Valli which we are used to. The sporty touch — a welcome addition to the Valli lexicon, and something that, so far, the designer has only explored in his tenure at Moncler Gamme Rouge — recurred throughout the show in a series of zip-up blousons with puffy sleeves that looked like a rococo take on the k-way.
They worked and had freshness. The same goes for a series of ethereal milkmaid dresses that offered a welcome counterpart to the usual short, sharp shapes with a whiff of madame. This was Valli being consistent but opening up to new options, resulting in a giddier and lighter outing. There was an unmistakable Parisian touch that is a veritable Valli signature, just like the juxtaposition of the graphic and the organic.