PFW AW19: Giambattista Valli

FOR THE Giambattista Valli girl, the words “over the top” come across as something more flattering than offensive. Contrary to the sleek minimalism of the set, the collection delivered flamboyance and conspicuity writ large — whether as vivid florals, juxtaposed patchworks of printed textiles or exaggerated 80s shoulders.

The show opened with simple white dress worn with a grey blazer, adorned fully with roses. And this was just the teasing appetiser for the dizzying array of florals and other loud silhouettes that were to come. Equally ostentatious was the choice of footwear — sky-high strappy stilettos that were embellished entirely with feathers, fluttering dynamically like living creatures as the models sashayed down the catwalk.

So what other dramatic delights did Valli have in store for us? Consider perhaps the ruffled, flamenco-esque hemline of the short floral shirtdress that was paired with black and white (also flower-adorned) vest that perhaps belonged more in a pastoral prairie setting than it did the Paris runways.

Or perhaps look 34: a semi-sheer mulitcolour striped knit was layered under a similary bohemian knitted cami, paired with a vinyl mermaid miniskirt. How about a full-on snakeskin shirt-and-trouser combination, worn over an equally rambunctious turtleneck? Don’t forget to add on the aforementioned feathery heels — “more is more” was definitely the rule du jour at the house of Valli.

It would be a mistake to neglect the gowns that close every Valli show. Adopting the codes that underpinned his more wearable pieces, the gowns represent Valli’s vision for the season perfectly realised. Overblown prints? Check. Pouffy shoulders? Check. Asymmetric ruffles, body-hugging ruches and enormous pussybows ? Check, check, check. However kitschy, campy or ornate this collection may be, it is undeniably bold. Particularly when you consider the heavy emphasis on tailoring and discrete minimalism that drove the other Paris shows.

What was Valli thinking when he put forward this collection? That we may never know. What we do know is this:  Valli says to the woman who dares pull off his looks, “go forth and be bold”.

by Kay Ean Leong

About The Author

Related Posts