PARIS--There was a bit of Jackie O. in Giambattista Valli's Fall 2011 collection, presented today at the Couvent de Cordeliers--if only Jackie O. would dare to wear streaks of neon yellow across the bottom of her thick shift dresses, exaggerated peter pan collars, and skirts in shaggy fur. Maybe it was a collection better suited for her younger sister, Lee Radziwill, who attended the show.
PARIS--Giambattista Valli’s show last night was exactly how I used to imagine the haute couture world as a child: gorgeous items unveiled in intimate, gold-leaf interiors, to a crowd who seems to wear them on a daily basis. Held in a salon at the Hôtel de Crillon, the collection was presented to a small crowd, sans standing space. No gimmicks, no conceptual nonsense – only models undulating around the room in pristine ball gowns and cocktail dresses, to the 'oohs' and 'aahs' of Salma Hayek and Diane Kruger.
In an era when the headline "Is Couture Dead?" runs in newspapers and on websites nearly every fashion week, Giambattista Valli is saying phooey to those notions. Indeed, the designer will show his first haute couture collection this July at the medium's bi-annual event in Paris. The show, taking place in the Galerie de la Madeleine--home to Valli's new store and studio--is part of the official Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week calendar. No easy feat for a newbie. (It's unclear whether that means Valli has already been accepted into the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture, but we're assuming it does if he is to be listed on the official calendar.)