Giambattista Valli with his models
Each July, the fashion world shifts its attention to Paris, where designers display their most beautiful creations for, Parisian Couture Week. Viewing the photos online, it’s easy for anyone to recognize the beauty, gliding down each runway. But ironically, the same computer age that allows us to instantly view these images from halfway around the world, has dulled down our senses. Until you see these garments in real life, it’s difficult to recognize just how masterfully each piece was created.
But with each season, there are standouts. Collections that surpass the limits of the Internet and reach your living room with such beauty, delicacy and detail that the artistry is undeniably palpable. And with this passing season, I have to hand this honor to designer, Giambattista Valli. Valli is an Italian born, French designer who only started his label 9 years ago in 2005. While I’ve known the Giambattista brand and always thought he produced beautiful gowns, this couture season has definitely solidified him as a fashion legend in my mind.
I always marvel at how many pieces make up a singular collection, and even more so at how the designers are able to create separate pieces that all fit together so well. There are of course, those stand out pieces during the finale that hit the covers of websites and news stands the next day. Yet so often I am let down once I view the entire collection. The shows in their entirety are always far less climactic than the headlining designs. And although Valli’s colorful ball gowns and pajama tops do catapult the collection into infamy, the rest of the collection could not possibly have been a more beautiful chorus to its main stars.
I love the retro style the collection carries. From the head wraps, to the sunglasses to the vintage silhouettes, Valli was able to resurrect this style with an heir of sophistication which can easily be lost in retro-inspired clothing. Think ModCloth. Now I know the items on the retro retailer are far from haute couture quality, but I found myself gravitating away from their designs for being too juvenile. I love the style of the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, but I don’t love dressing up in a poodle skirt and saddle shoes. Here, Valli has taken the frocks of the glamorous screen sirens and updated them for a modern world.
High fashion has also been shifting greatly towards the sleek and minimal recently. A quick visit to Zara, TopShop or even H&M will quickly prove that geometric, modern forms are all the rage. So it was nice to see a bit of romance back on the runways evidenced in the flow of the gowns, the bright colors, the dense patterns. I think the world of fashion could always use a little dose of fun, and if it comes wrapped in the retro-elegance of a Giambattista Valli design, well then that’s even better.
Click HERE to see Giambattista’s full Paris Couture 2014 collection and browse the collections of all the designers in attendance.