Not a pair of pants in sight, Giambattista Valli’s fall collection was a pure play for ladies of the polished, fancy-places-to-go persuasion. He cast his familiar Sixties shapes — neat jackets and skirts, dresses with high collars and dropped waists and coat dresses — through a graphic botanical lens, working in black and white and pastel pink with a few dashes of fiery red. The palette kept the look cleaner and more controlled than what Valli’s tastes for clashing color and Art Nouveau-interiors can sometimes yield, while the cuts felt soft and relaxed.
The show opened with multicolored lace leaves embroidered on a neat dress with a shirt collar and a swishy, tiered white pleated dress. Pretty dresses came in blurry black-and-white optical prints and micro florals. Some of the styles featured undulating vertical ruffles, others came in floor-length pleats with long sleeves and modest necklines, a silhouette that rung a bell for the chaste drama of Valentino’s current go-to dress shape. If not revolutionary, the collection will please Valli’s customers who need a fresh pull of frocks for their busy social calendars.