Here is my conundrum: Giambattista Valli is a personal favorite because IMHO he gets it! He is one the few who designs, yes!! A designer who designs! He is not one of the blah blah blah crew who thinks he has to talk around ugly clothes when in fact he makes exquisite clothes.
Valli has developed honed his DNA and vocabulary which he utilizes in every collection and rarely seems to get boring. For me, this season is a bit perplexing as there are so many elements at work that have never been present in the past and chief among them is the layering. Backing right up to that is that there were a lot of dresses that might be taken as possibly… over designed, a bit too frothy or maybe just the term de trop might encompass a lot. Please don’t let me forget all the transparency that kept appearing.
To me Valli shines when he is pure Valli and that means drama, shape, refinement, polish, chic and great style. He knows his way around embellishment and yet he is amazingly adept at simplicity yielding the highest of drama. In this collection, the perfect examples are the floor length coats worn over slim gowns or cigarette pants. The amazing degrade tiering that he did last season shown with bowling shirts didn’t translate as well this time around as they read a bit too wedding “cake-y.”
To my eye there also seems to be a bit of retro tossed in especially in the brocades, whether the short jacket shown with bell skirt or the brocade tunic and slim pant under the full length opera coat. Somehow I was drawn to recall gowns my mother wore and costumes that Loretta Young wore when she swept through those double doors.
Okay, bottom line… not my favorite of his collections but by no means does that imply that the clothes are less than stellar. For me I prefer his signature pieces and less complicated efforts. Once all the so called inspirations are peeled away, what remains is pure Valli and that’s where the focus should be