When a designer creates something that can be instantaneously associated with their name – as in the case of a Dior ‘Bar’ jacket or a Jean-Paul Gaultier cone bra – a signature is formed. For Giambattista Valli it is the tiered, massive, tulle dream dress worn often by the likes of Rihanna, Chiara Ferragni, and Kendall Jenner on the red carpet that he is best known for.
Yet, Valli’s canon extends beyond the trappings of red carpet excess, including frocks daintily etched with floral bouquets, lacy separates, and ruffly mini-dresses – not exactly daywear, but easy-to-wear at the very least. When it comes to haute couture, however, Valli is effortless in combining the aforementioned frou with red carpet frippery. In fact, it is his métier to own. He has an uncanny and singular knack for making so much finery look downright adorable.
Case in point, the filmy shorts, poufy mini dresses, and lacy frocks that led his Spring 2018 Couture collection – these are the stuff of fashion girl dreams. However, “girl” is the operative word here, as Valli has tended to skew young ever since he launched his sister line Giamba. Haute couture for girls, however, is something of a unique concept. This time around he reigns in the youth brigade around midway and replaces the minis with Grecian goddess maxis that would suit matriarch and maiden alike.
Valli has an uncanny and singular knack for making so much finery look downright adorable.
It’s not necessarily that he needs mature designs in order to survive commercially – couture is never, ever about crass commercialism – but a wider reach is always a good thing. The more women who can wear your clothes, the more women who will wear your clothes. He strikes a good balance this time: the twee stuff is fantastically made and spun from the most amazing bespoke lace fabrics and appliqués, while the more regal looks are statuesque, gorgeously draped, and sensational to behold. Naturally, he ends with his signature, the fluffy, phenomenally fun tulle gowns that have now become his signature, and now it’s just a waiting game to see which A-lister inevitably picks one for their next red carpet outing.