If Giambattista Valli’s exquisite creations have ever felt out of reach, its new little stister, Giamba, will bring the designer’s immense talent and beloved style to a wider audience. The line debuted at Milan Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2015 with a collection that was far more youthful and commercial than the Valli’s usual fare. That being said, the designer did not sacrifice an inch of fancy fabric or lavish detail in its making.
Giamba’s babydoll dresses, short shifts, high-waisted shorts, and mini dresses worn over polka-dot tights provided a simple silhouette, but the embroidery work and prints transformed the accessible shapes into high-fashion works of art. Valli borrowed details from the Edwardian era and worked them onto a sheer mini dress with bishop sleeves and a ruffled jabot. Although short hemlines and flirty fits ruled the Giamba runway, the simplicity of the outline was counterbalanced by feminine accents. Rolled pleats, ruffles, eyelets, crocheted lace, naive floral prints, brocatelle embroidery, and appliquéd leaves were shown on luxurious materials like chiffon, cloqué, and guipure. Accomplished on a palette of blush pink, white, and black, the clothes were unfussy, yet complex, in their craftsmanship.
Giamba’s standout looks came toward the end, when Valli showed tiny monochrome mini dresses made from intersecting peacock feather and amaryllis flower appliqués. The feathers and flower petals created a graphic, layered tapestry that added great movement and dimensionality to the garments. Although this is Giamba’s debut, the presentation was so cohesive and accomplished that it felt like it had been around for ages, and perhaps it has, in the recesses of Valli’s mind.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree