For the tenth anniversary of his brand, Giambattista Valli could have gone bonkers and organised the greatest show on earth, all frills and ornament and out-of-this-world volume. After all, he has earned it. But no: instead, the Roman designer chose the Carreau du Temple (Hedi Slimane’s venue of choice, before he decided to move his presentations to the sunny coasts of California that is) and a pristine white environment to show a collection that was more about delicacy and sculptural shapes than about glitz, glamour and excess.
Through his choice of flowers (an element always present in Valli’s collections, although never as prominently as in this showing), he payed tribute to the post-terrorist attacks in Paris, his adopted home. 'Flowers are my obsession', he said simply backstage. 'This time I was inspired by the ones in the Jardin de Bagatelle, in the Tuileries, in the Parc du Luxembourg, in the Palais Royal.' An emotional inspiration that translated into a touching collection. The show opened with a series of dresses that looked like a crossover between 1965 Twiggy and a countryside-devoted Marie-Antoinette. A white mini dress in silk crepe with delicate organza ruffles and embroidered crystal lilies looked like an insanely exquisite apron, and another one, a cape-dress in white brocade, was like Versailles gone pop. Elsewhere, he introduced fluoro guipure and macramé, before revealing some very New Look embroidered skirts that sent the audience into a frenzy of speculation over the possibility that this could be a pitch for the infamous Dior job.
Be as it may, the collection was pure Valli, from the duchess satin 3D embroidered roses, to the white, black and powder pink palette, to, of course, the very ruffly finale of pleated tulle dresses that has become a must, the audience patiently awaits for in every one of his shows – one that we wouldn’t miss were he to skip it, though. For us, it was the empire cuts, the choice of fabrics, and the flowing silhouettes that made all the difference. Here’s to 10 more years of that.