Haute Couture AW19: Giambattista Valli

GIAMBATTISTA Valli, known throughout the world of fashion simply as Giamba, leaves his audience entranced deep within a dream, gazing up in wonder at his Haute Couture 17 collection.

The Italian couturier crafts his Fall Couture installation into the form of an exquisite art exhibition. Hosted at the beautiful Shangri–La hotel in Paris, the static display highlights the wonders of couture fashion as well as allows the audience to appreciate it for more than a split–second on a runway. In order to curate such an impressive spectacle, Valli requires each piece of art to exude pure perfection. Despite the additional pressure, he succeeds.

The Haute Couture 17 collection opens by paying homage to the designer’s unique affinity for tulle and his unparalleled ability to balance extravagant shapes with elements of simplicity.

Gliding through the first room of the collection, it is easy to slip into the belief that Valli’s works of art are frozen in a sort of timeless perfection. A group of mannequins create this illusion from the outset of the extravaganza. Each dons skirts and ruffles, most layered with of what appears to be an ocean of tulle and feathers. Valli includes darker colours among a wash of lighter pastels.

With his intense focus on tulle, Valli is able to explore diverse themes surrounding femininity, which has historically been associated with the fabric. The ethereal looks in the collection play upon complexities associated with womankind. Each piece declares itself to be both strong and delicate, sensual and pure.

Although Valli is well–known for his obsession with volume, he takes expert care to feature delicate embroidery in tribute to the art of the atelier. The Haute Collection 17 dresses are adorned with an exceptional amount of floral masterpieces which include exquisite clusters of peony petals, orange blossoms, dahlias and roses. With the three–dimensional silk taffeta peony’s, in particular, Valli ensures that his surgical precision in the realm of design is not forgotten.

Valli must be extraordinarily busy, what with the announcement of his H&M collaboration at the amfAR Gala in Cannes and creating a one–of–a–kind dress for Charlotte Casiraghi, the granddaughter of Grace Kelly, to celebrate her nuptials in. Even so, Giambattista Valli proves he is a design force to be reckoned with. It really seems nothing can get in the way of him creating a stunning couture spectacle.

by Maria Noyen