What could sculpture possibly have to do with down jackets? Giambattista Valli intends to show the fashion pack on Friday night when he unveils his first collection as creative director of Moncler’s Gamme Rouge line, applying a romantic approach to a cold-weather staple.
This story first appeared in the February 26, 2008 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“I worked a lot with volumes,” Valli said during a preview, as a model rotated in an egg-shaped coat in silk duchesse the color of slightly yellowed marble. “It’s to give a quilted jacket the attitude of something you could wear with an evening gown — or in a sporty way. There’s an attitude, but it’s very easy to wear. You just zip it up.”
Valli, whose three-year-old signature collection is prized for its distinctive, couturelike details and techniques, took a three-dimensional approach at Moncler, creating jackets in modified pyramid, round and hourglass shapes. Among the images on his inspiration board are those of works by the neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova. Silhouettes are central, which is why logo zipper pulls are discreetly painted tone-on-tone. Some coats and vests are decorated with intricate embroidery. Among the 40 pieces in the collection, Valli sought to offer plenty of what he called “contemporary alternatives” to fur or plain-cloth outerwear.
At Gamme Rouge, Valli succeeds Alessandra Facchinetti, who had brought buzz and fashion currency to a fast-growing brand that generates sales north of $200 million. Valli plans to present his designs in a still-life presentation amid the sculptures at the Antoine Bourdelle Museum, putting them in a context of permanence. “I want to do pieces that are timeless and ageless,” he said, noting that they’re versatile, too: “You can go to Gstaad [in them], or you can go to the theater or just downstairs to buy flowers.”