Perhaps one of the most recognisable brands from couture is Giambattista Valli - a brand that personifies the glamour and fanfare of couture with their flowing froufrou and unwavering femininity. This season, Valli had slightly slicked the tulle cascades that one has come to know and love, with most silhouettes in long-line form, a delicate fishtail or trouser. Not to panic, the signature tulle moments were here too, a few mullet dresses - the best of which was an electric pink - and one eruption of tulle in a duck egg blue, were all delightfully light and frothy.
Staged amongst potted lavender and the sound of buzzing cicadas, the Giambattista Valli show transported one to the hills of Southern France or Italy and saw a rousing feathered flock of evening gowns unfurl. The cupping and drooping of satins - much like the bulb of a flower - added a fresh floral mood amongst the strong fresh lavender aroma, whilst feather trimmed stilettos hinted toward a party-girl attitude. ‘GBV’ stamped on models’ wrists, fingers and ankles could have been an exclusive Valli entry only nightclub stamp.
Those chintzy wallpaper patterns and Valli’s overall push for florals (of which he has been pushing for the past few seasons) saw the flamboyant gown given a modest country-house twist, for a different bracket of clientele perhaps. You saw that slightly more conservative aesthetic especially in bulbous veils, the velveteen bow shoes, and the long pastel pink smock dress that felt a little night-gownish in its modest shape.
There was a real breadth from Valli in this collection, whilst staying true to the flounce and pouffe we’ve come to expect. One can be the fun-loving party girl with mini-dresses that grab attention with their giant bows down the body, slightly more demure in a traditional rose-print, or delectably flamboyant in a feathered fantasy. Admittedly, there isn’t much here that rocks the boat of Valli, there are house-codes that are repeated each season, but one can’t deny the appeal of such unapologetically effeminate and unpretending wares.