Giambattista Valli based his Fall Couture 2015 on another imaginative “impossible conversation”, this time between legendary bohemian muses, Peggy Guggenheim, Talitha Pol- Getty and rock legend Syd Barrett. It’s been 10 years since Mr. Valli founded his independent design house, and he celebrated this milestone by doing what he does best: showing a gorgeous, glamourous, high-impact, and elaborate collection of party-ready garments. I LOVE this house!
This season marked a definite progression in Mr. Valli’s work by stretching the borders of his traditional flower-festooned couture pieces into slicker, showier fashion territory. There was a definite vintage vibe to the show, with plenty of looks that referenced the minimalist lines and sweeping silhouettes of Sixties and Seventies couture. Lean tunic and trouser combos were seen alongside sleek collarless coats, slim trousers and short shift dresses- each embellished to the hilt with lush ornamentation. It was pure rock and roll glamour.
Mr. Valli’s signature elaborate flair wasn’t completely missing though- it appeared in some transitional pieces that paired the minimalist look with poufy half-spheres of tulle ruffles, feathery fringe or sweeping peplum panels of heavy silk.
From there, the silhouettes and embellishments only got more extravagant! Flowers, ruffles and eye-catching colour are what women want from Giambattista Valli… and that’s certainly what they got. Shapes became larger and more elaborate as the bohemian influence came into play: loose tunics, flirty skirts, ruffles and spaghetti-strapped halter necklines. There were some sweeping draped goddess gowns that just begged to be worn on a red carpet and some voluminous evening frocks embellished with fluttery layers of pastel feathers and silk flowers. Gorgeous!
The simplified lines of his garments provided ample canvas for intense and varied surface decoration: ruffles, elaborate tapestry prints, crystal appliqués, feathered trims, 3D florals and trailing vine embroidery were just a few of of his touches. The modernist theme kicked in with futuristic tiers of pixilated prints, silvery beaded fringe, lacquered lace, sequinned macramé and metallic foil prints. Every surface gleamed and twinkled with adornment, that were then further enhanced with vivid pops of acidic green, aqua, cyclamen and orange over stark plains of black and white.
Paired with round oversized crystal-embellished sunglasses, huge chandelier earrings and sparkly sky-high platforms, the looks came off as slick and glamourous as any disco diva’s wardrobe.
For a while, the glitzy vibe seemed to have taken over the show, but Mr. Valli’s breathless romanticism came out fully for the show’s finale. This season’s ball selection appeared in volumes of tulle, with models making their way down the runway carrying a veritable harem’s worth of undulating ruffles. These pieces were certainly marvels of construction, but as they didn’t glide effortlessly across the floor, the finale walk came off as slightly taxing for the finale models.
To be honest, I felt the finale was a bit much. To me, it seemed that Mr. Valli was trying to top his previous work with these looks- and this time the show stopping pieces came off looking a little silly. They’re far too heavy and cumbersome for anyone to easily wear without structural support, and styled as they were on the runway- with fussy feathered tunics, embroidered motorcycle jackets (quite fabulous) and embellished T-shirt tunics (not so good), they looked… not that great.
I know that couture is not supposed to be easy to wear, nor is it ever worn anywhere else but to Black Tie events, but the show would have ended much more successfully had these finale looks been styled better or exempted from the lineup.
That’s my only complaint on an otherwise great show. I adore all the fluttering fringes, eccentric silhouettes and glimmering rockstar embellishment that this season had to offer. Mr. Valli’s exploration of sleeker silhouettes brought a decidedly grown- up notion to his work that has been lacking on previous occasions, and I appreciate seeing this progression. Still, there was plenty of youthful spunk and playful femininity to go around and I’m in love with his girlier offerings!
Can’t wait to see more!
Xx – Ana