Giambattista Valli had gestures in mind when he started to work on his pre-fall collection.
“Sometimes in fashion, we forget about them,” he said. “But a gesture is like an expression of your soul — graceful, vulgar or otherwise — but it’s about life.”
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And this meant keeping it real. So instead of taking his clientele on an imaginary far-flung jaunt, he brought it “back to the city,” which in his case, means Paris.
Cue a pre-fall collection that went in a more urban, streamlined direction, compounded by the designer’s longtime appreciation for charcoal drawings by American artist Robert Longo of urbanites in movement.
But his devotees fear not: smart clothes tailored to move through a day in a city don’t mean giving up on Valli’s romantic, feminine playbook.
Terrific coats were visibly structured to hug feminine curves, high-waisted five-pocket trousers had the ease of jeans, sets that nodded to sartorial suiting were cropped to be both flirty and chic.
All came zhuzhed up with what Valli called the “complex, not complicated” Parisian aesthetic, with layered textures, bold shapes and rich details like tapestry motifs, gold buttons and embroideries nodding to Chantilly lace.
He leaned into couture crafts with hand-applied elements, including a lattice of sequins overlaid on a bustier gown. Staples like T-shirts and fluid jersey dresses were likewise livened up with sculptural drapes while fine-gauge knitwear was embroidered with organza ribbons.
Even the fresh-to-him black and white palette was made festive rather than somber: colorful underlayers peeked through, Lurex added sparkle to tweeds and panels of eco-leather and sequins were inserted into macramé designs.
A sense of unfussy sophistication continued in the accessories. These included takes on his AirBag purse decked out in the season’s motifs, footwear with bows that looked barely done but were artfully executed and darling turtle-shaped minaudiere clutches. “Slow and steady wins the race,” he said. “It’s very much the philosophy of my life.”
Launch Gallery: Giambattista Valli Pre-Fall 2024
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