Giambattista Valli’s shows are always a sight to behold. For the clothes as much as for the audience, a remarkable mix of it-girls, celebrities, Royals (and royals by proxy) from all over the world and fans. Monday’s show was no exception: there was Olivia Palermo, princess Olympia of Greece, Inès de la Fressange and, to the fashion pack’s excitement, Céline Dion. The Canadian singer provoked a riot at the entrance of the Grand Palais, and was herself riotous at the end of the show, clapping enthusiastically, getting up and screaming ‘bravo!’
There was much to be enthusiastic about. This season, the Italian designer traded his recurrent seventies Italian inspirations for Empress Josephine (a reference many of his clients will no doubt find relatable). Of course, Valli’s Empress Josephine is a lavish 21st century party girl, frolicking around in bejewelled shoes and miniskirts. Empire lines here were transformed into excuses to show a bit of midriff and, on one instance, into a pink chiffon crop top paired with strawberry trousers (disco-approved). Ruffles, a Valli favourite, were scattered here and there in skirts and tops, but were less frequent than usual, yet compensated for by puffy sleeves that still managed to look fresh. As did the long gowns, in tones of lilac, mint green, pink and flaming red chiffon. The finale, however, remained on the side of Valli tradition: three gowns made entirely of tulle so fluffy and meringue-like they made you want to eat them closed the show. Still, they were a small price to pay for a brilliant collection.