Cherubs alighted on garden statuary, which had been draped in cream-colored garlands. Giambattista Valli’s dewy beauties roamed among them, wearing his sweetest couture confections yet.
Early in couture week, referencing multiple countries already seems a running theme. Rome-born Valli named the four segments of his romantic and ultrafeminine show after Europe’s renowned porcelain makers: Italy’s Capodimonte, France’s Sèvres, Germany’s Meissen and England’s Wedgwood. He applied their distinctive colorations and decorative motifs to his signature wasp-waisted coats and dresses.
Magnolia petals, fluffs of hydrangea and small cornflowers crept over the shoulders, sleeves and waistlines of short bustier dresses, long siren gowns and sculptural capes. New shapes included flounced skater skirts, bubble-shaped peplums and a striking cap-sleeved tunic that was worn over a trumpet skirt of Chantilly lace.
Barring a few lantern sleeves and the bulging finale ballgowns trailing yards and yards of heavy silks, Valli mostly kept volumes under control, exalting the floral motifs drifting across dresses, or clustered in dense, vaselike arrangements. This was only Valli’s fifth couture collection, and his stroll through the china shop worked a charm.