PARIS, France — Ever the energetic optimist, Giambattista Valli was looking radiant over Zoom after the airing of the video he presented today in lieu of a show. A consummate showman with a history of grandiose fashion feasts held in vast venues, Valli expressed no regrets over the new medium, which he had already tested and greatly enjoyed for couture. “I have seen images of the live shows these days,” he said. “They were all great. As for me, however, all the masking and social distancing erased the magic. Better to test new grounds, for the time being.” Valli created a video that was as immediate as it was emotional, mingling images of models filmed walking in a white limbo with short clips of sunsets on the Italian Riviera that he himself shot this summer with his phone. It all conveyed the feeling of a personal sketch.
The collection, too, had the freshness and ease of a sketch. It was quintessentially Valli with its elegance, attention to detail and glorification of well-coiffed femininity, but it also felt extra light, and very svelte, and not just because the silhouette was decidedly short. It looked like the models had dressed in haste, without thinking too much, coming across as effortlessly chic exactly because of that.
Lockdown was an introspective moment of calm for Giambattista Valli, and his creativity greatly benefited from a newfound connection with nature. “For the first time in so many years, I could feel and see spring coming,” he mused. The designer channelled this experience into clothes full of comfort, beauty and freedom. Or, to put it in his own words: “I brought my best friend, which is the very Parisian silhouette I have perfected over the years, for a stroll on the Mediterranean, and a new sense of ease sprung out of the encounter.” Well done.