Giambattista Valli had The Grand Tour in mind when he designed his latest escapist collection, and unlike in February, when painfully wobbly heels distracted from an already scattershot show, this lineup was firm-footed in theme and on flat and block-heel sandals, even if a few crystals did go flying.
But a Valli woman takes that in stride. After all, she dresses to the nines for an afternoon outing, à la Lucy Hale sitting in the front row in a hot pink silk chiffon gown with bow waist detail and waterfall skirt.
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Flying crystals aside, this season the designer set out to create a “calmer” take for spring.
“I like the idea of this trip but in a contemporary way,” Valli said backstage of the tours, dating back to the 17th century, that wealthy young people would embark on just before adulthood, experiencing different cultures in Florence, Rome, Naples, Athens, Istanbul and so on.
The designer incorporated souvenirs one might pick up along the way into the clothes, on a lovely white cotton poplin off-the-shoulder dress in a print inspired by Roman micro mosaics and cameos, for example, and a peasant skirt, crop top and vest ensemble with red vine embroidery that had the look of traditional handcraft. Floral crowns and turtle shell-shaped bags added to the feeling of things collected along the way.
He made humble materials beautiful, like white cotton crochet on the statuesque long sleeve dress that opened the show, as well as a shirt and shorts set, and cotton tulle on a gorgeous sheer gown with a Turkish embroidered floral garland on the bodice, green leaves and fretwork on the skirt.
Although there were certainly some gala moments, this was a refreshingly looser and lighter take on dressing up for Vallli, from the raspberry-hued square-neck spaghetti strap gown with fabric rosettes down the front and a swishy skirt to the crystal embroidered bra tops and pleated miniskirts.
“It’s all these extraordinary details but done in an easy way,” said Valli. Just what one wants for an extended trip.
Launch Gallery: Giambattista Valli RTW Spring 2024
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