Giambattista Valli’s fall show was an example a very nice collection but not a great show. Last-minute seating changes led to confused PRs and lost guests. Once you found your seat, get comfortable — the runway was set at a listless pace. On the plus side, more time to linger over the clothes, which were worth looking at.
Valli wanted a clash of cultures, reacting to the fraught global political climate with the idea of openness. “Humanity, much less politics,” he said backstage. He imagined his muse traveling to far-off places, expanding her mind and building her taste to savor the spicy colors of Marrakech, French floral embroideries and Italian stature and opulence, all with a late Sixties tinge.
Valli maintained his reputation for beautiful dresses with maxis cut with the regal modesty — elongated silhouettes, long sleeves and high collars — that now bear heavy association with Valentino. (As a side note, Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli took in the display, as did his former codesigner, Dior’s Maria Grazia Chiuri.) Valli had his way with his Art Nouveau lines, splicing an optic dot printed style with black-and-white panels on each side, working rich leather floral embroidery, and stamping interesting hologramlike patches on the chest or two poetic gowns. But there was daywear, too. The show opened with a denim jumpsuit and there were neat tailored plaid pants, Modish jackets and a chic webby knit V-neck worn with a long button-up skirt. Valli dashed it up with the personal flare of silk scares tied around the neck, gold jewelry and interesting furry thong sandals worn with printed tights.