PARIS, France — Like every Italian worth his salt, Giambattista Valli was shocked today. The political elections put Italy in the hands of the dangerous populist movement Five Stars and the xenophobic Northern League. By now Valli is a Parisian, having made the city his home, but his Italian ties are still strong. "It's strange how this collection, which was designed before the disaster happened, is the exact opposite of the values that are being promoted. I do not want to be political and just focus on the human aspect, but still," he said backstage. A case of art anticipating life? Most definitely.
Valli has been on a happy trail of late with his ready to wear, embracing lightness and ditching anything too overtly madame. This season the goings got lighter still, in a 1970s-hued detour around cultures, styles and crafts, from Afghanistan to the eclectic interiors of Gabriella Crespi, from Oriana Fallaci's pragmatic jumpsuits to Valli's very own floaty dresses. There was a lot to the mix, but it worked not least because of the deliberate haphazardness of the way things were thrown together.