If only for 20 minutes or so, Giambattista Valli made you forget about the dark world outside of the Grand Palais where he staged his spring Moncler Gamme Rouge show around dozens of glittering disco balls, large and small. The set alone was happy photo bait, but the feel-goods really got going when the show opened with Hiplet, a ballet company that performs hip-hop on pointe, performing to Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You.”
Hiplet was not just entertainment — its blend of the classical and casual/current dovetailed with the clothes. Valli’s show was a smart fusion of ballerina off-duty and on-stage, a conceit that allowed him to showcase his way with precious hyperfemininity while addressing the sporty streetwear craze, and, by association, clever branding. A gray sweatshirt with tricolor cuffs was reimagined as a lace romper layered with a tulle tutu. A gray logo T-shirt was worn under a white lace leotard and white windbreaker with delicate grosgrain ribbon ties, and a spare, lab coat-white bomber jacket with a spiffy tricolor collar was worn over a short white dress decked in ostrich feathers.
There were beautiful dresses in soft pink and white lace, tulle slipdresses worn under embroidered robes and boleros — all delicate, ethereal and pretty. But the stuff that resonated most was the fancy athletic wear, the red-white and blue striped tulle bomber, and a white robe-like windbreaker with lace inserts. Both were styled with gray leg warmers and ballet slippers for the runway but will look just as natural with jeans on the sidewalk.