Giambattista Valli Looks to Yves Saint Laurent for Spring 2019 Couture

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It was no mistake nor coincidence that many of Giambattista Valli’s looks for Spring 2019 Couture instantly recalled the works of Yves Saint Laurent. On Valli’s moodboard for the season was a photo taken by Helmut Newton of models splayed out in lounging positions in elaborate finery inside Laurent’s salon – a candid, voyeuristic glimpse into a typically clandestine moment.

Similarly, Valli was inspired by Le Bain Turc by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, which offers a similarly discreet glimpse of women sprawling about inside a Turkish bath. Both intimacy and elegance were dual pillars of the Giambattista Valli Spring 2019 Couture show, which made reference to YSL by way of design and Turkish baths with the use of headgear that resembled the bath towels used to swaddle and protect one’s hair.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

The miniature lengths of Valli’s dresses are very much a part of the designer’s existing vocabulary that has skewed youthful ever since he launched his younger sister line, Giamba. They also happen to be part of Saint Laurent’s current vernacular. This, however, is not imitation as Valli’s hemlines arguably preceded – but the couture volumes were unmistakably Laurent’s in origin. Intense beadwork and feathered trim clustered atop the minidresses alongside brief separates were expected couture accents, and they worked to elevate the garments to new heights.

This soigné affair was Giambattista Valli at his finest.

Widths, however, were classically Valli, especially in the case of his immense tiered chiffon gowns, which are his strongest signature by now. New placement of chiffon at the sleeves added new excitement to the line-up, and a crimson version in taffeta silk was a wonder to behold. While minidresses and maximal chiffon gowns are what we’ve come to expect from Valli season after season, there were some surprises in store. A sinewy, ivory gown that was decorated with silver snakes and completed with fully-feathered sleeves from the elbow down was an impractical delight, as was a shimmering veiled look pricked with leopard spots.

Some of his bi-length dresses came in fabrics that resembled a fireworks display of metallic explosions, while others were electrified with juts of chiffon that sprouted from mostly sheer overlays. This soigné affair was Giambattista Valli at his finest, flexing his well-developed couture muscle as if to say, “You think you know what I’m capable of, but I’ve only just begun.”

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