Giambattista Valli’s rich and wide-ranging pre-fall collection included a focus on uniforms, which might sound uncharacteristic for a label known for tulle party dresses. But no. Valli’s proposal of miniskirt and jacket ensembles suited the brand, carrying his distinctive flair — feminine and flirty, jazzed up with the occasional tuft of dark tulle woven in here, or patch of pleated silk there. The focus reflected an interest in the infallibility of navy outfits, and prominent gold buttons carrying the house’s logo design cropped up on dresses, jackets and short skirts. A forest green was new, as were camouflage and checks — superimposed, in some cases — on lightweight denim and brushed wool knits.
“It’s an honest collection,” said Valli. He sought versatility, to allow clients to mix and match separates as they so desire, and interpret things their own way.
The label has widened its proposition since introducing its ready-to-wear line Giamba in 2014; now collections are regrouped under the Giambattista Valli umbrella.
Signature tulle dresses as well as fluid, flowery garments were less dominant this season — with fewer parties to attend — while handsome alternatives emerged for more intimate events, like a poplin cotton dress in army greens that carried an exotic flower print, with lace and ruffled sleeves. Darker colors — navy blues, black and greens — slightly toughened the looks, as did the elongated Chelsea boots. On the sexier side, tall Mary Janes with subtly flared heels are sure to be a hit.
Reflecting on the evolving coronavirus crisis, Valli was sanguine, suggesting that the deep change is part of entering a new century.
“Some things, we are dropping, and we are moving on to something else. If Lee Radziwill was still alive, she would say; ‘I’m fascinated to see what’s next,’” he said, lowering his voice and raising his eyebrows.