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Giambattista Valli Gets Naughty

This season, the designer was in a particularly coquettish mood, but the collection was another exercise in Valli-ism, following a well-loved template.
By
  • Angelo Flaccavento

PARIS, France — Giambattista Valli has been living in Paris for more than twenty years, but his love affair with the City of Lights has never been so intense. One way or another, he continues paying homage to Paris, yet never in a literal way. He is after a certain flirtiness, plus the colours of the sky, the hues of the buildings and the bright shades of the beautiful gardens.

It all coalesced today in the slightly futuristic rooms of the Palais des Congrès, a conference hall cum shopping mall that, at first glance, seemed at odds with Valli's own brand of aristocratic insouciance. But the space provided glimpses of the outside, the concrete and the clouds forming the perfect backdrop for the collection.

This season, Valli was in a particularly coquettish mood, as exemplified by the vision of a Parisienne wandering in the Giverny gardens while the late Guy Bourdin spies on her taking pictures. Naughty? Most definitely.

Fashion-wise, it all translated into a double-sided collection of ruffly, flowery and leggy dresses and strict, tailored pieces. It all felt very young and very giddy, yet still retained the agelessness that's mandatory for Valli — there's a certain classicism, of the speedy madame kind, to the proceedings. Today there were exotic touches interspersed here and there, which is another Valli trope. The collection was another exercise in Valli-ism, which is to say that it wasn't a big leap forward, just another iteration of a style that’s loved loved by flirty, well-to-do ladies.

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