Giambattista Valli Spring 2013 Haute Couture
Photo: Marcus Tondo/GoRunway.com
Giambattista Valli Fall 2012 Couture
BACKSTAGE: Giambattista Valli Spring 2012 Couture
Photographed by Kevin Tachman
by Hamish Bowles
With 24 hours to go before his spring haute couture show that he will present in the ravishing Louis Seize salons of the Hôtel de Crillon, Giambattista Valli (working in the ravishing eighteenth-century rooms of his own fashion headquarters a stone’s throw from the Rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré) is sporting his war wounds—fingers wrapped in plasters from the stabbing pins with which he has been tweaking the 40-something ensembles that he is fitting in his characteristically hands-on way.
The starting point for the collection is Valli’s desire to “support the work of all the couture ateliers—the embroidery one, the flower one, the fabric one, the lace—and going to the memories of what couture is for me, but in a light, modern way.”
Valli always begins work on a classic Stockman mannequin—and that means that this season everything originates with a waist, with emphatic peplums blooming out below the hourglass torso (shaped with Valli corsets), and elaborate draped scarf collars blossoming above.
Valli’s subtle couture touches include lace flowers that are cut out and re-appliquéd to look like flights of butterflies trembling on a sprig of spring blossom, puffy organza blooms garlanding necklines, and sprays of hydrangeas that will frame his model’s faces. Solid sequin gowns in black or plum are embroidered to graduate from tiny paillettes at the neckline to disc sequins at the hem, turning them into exquisite waterfalls of reflected light as the wearer moves.
Valli’s longtime collaborator Luigi Scialanga, meanwhile, has sourced a storied bronze foundry in Rome to create the handmade silvered bronze-flower necklaces and belts that will cinch the designer’s exquisite, drifting chiffon frocks. “I love the idea of wearability,” says Valli, and his second foray into haute couture bids fair to increase his already enviable roster of clients that include, beyond his own celebrated pantheon of best-dressed European beauties, young and well-heeled gals in China, Russia, the Middle East, and North and South America.
Giambattista Valli Pre-Fall 2012
Photo: Courtesy of Giambattista Valli
Visit Vogue.com for the full collection and review.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Backstage at the Giambattista Valli Couture Show
Giambattista Valli Fall 2011 Couture
Giambattista Valli Resort 2012