PARIS, France — "My woman does not care about fashion — declared Giambattista Valli backstage today. Nor do I: I don't want to conform to trends or anything like that", he continued. Albeit deliberately provocative, the statement struck a chord. With his very own taste for poised sophistication and clique of young, leggy aristocrats, Valli is somehow resolutely removed from the fashionable hic et nunc.
His preoccupation for little dresses and what looks mostly like occasion dressing is eminently enduring, and timeless. As such, you either like it or not, he can certainly count a legion of fans, glitterati or not. The posse of globe-trotting, party-hopping, life-enjoying Valli beauties this season looked particularly chic, particularly Parisian and particularly naughty, all wet hair, cherry lips and towering stiletto booties. At the center of the action was Valli's new take on the little black dress, which in fact came out white or red: nipped of waist, sculpted of form, flounced of hem.
It came out in many iterations, a few of them with studded details that had a tingle of fetish. They worked. The Valli girls, however, do not live in gilded cages: they run here and there, stilettos firmly at their feet. In such cases, they pair ladylike stuff with Nike running leggings — the real thing, not a co-branding. The look was both smart and a little odd, but added a welcome touch of nonchalance to the whole Valli timelessness.