How does a red-carpet brand weather a global pandemic? Giambattista Valli, the designer known for gigantic tulle ballgowns favored by the likes of Jennifer Lopez and Ariana Grande, has faced something of a reckoning now that his customers’ social calendars have been wiped clean.
Ever the optimist, he’s making lemonade out of lemons. Having spent the spring in lockdown in Paris, he headed to the Italian coast for summer. His stunning video footage of the region’s beaches and wild natural parks appeared in the video for his spring collection, which is all about scaling back.
“This time has allowed us to care for our mental and physical wellbeing in a way that we didn’t before. It’s time spent on yourself, and that to me is the ultimate luxury nowadays,” he said.
“There has been a change of vision. You no longer dress to project something to the outside world. You’re really dressing for your own pleasure,” Valli added.
Cue a new approach to luxury fashion: daywear with a relaxed, easygoing vibe that’s as suited to lunch with friends as it is to a Zoom call. Variations on his signature tweed jackets included two minimal cream versions: one that tied at the chest with a bow, and another with a shirt collar and two low buttons.
Out with the chiffon gowns, in with cotton poplin summer dresses in solid pastels or plain black. A cropped white cotton T-shirt with ruffled sleeves was embroidered with the new Valli monogram, which also appeared on tomboyish checkerboard pants.
Make no mistake: the Valli girl is still flirty as hell, whether in a floral-printed maxidress with a neckline trimmed with black lace, or wearing what is arguably the world’s shortest skirt, paired with a matching white tweed cropped jacket. Hopefully, working from home won’t stretch into next summer.