At the Met Ball with Doutzen Kroes this year
The Paris-based designer, Giambattista Valli, has spoken out about the honour bestowed on him, when he was named part of France’s elite Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture – meaning he will now be allowed to create actual haute couture, as well as ready-to-wear, sanctioned by the notoriously old-school chamber. Valli was very modest, merely saying that ‘it is really the work of the atelier that’s incredible’. Haute Couture is so important to him, he says, because he’s ‘working for the new generation’ of designers by showing its attainability for individuals.
And the inspiration for his first collection for the upcoming season? To reference the earlier masters. ‘The inspiration is the big French houses that used to be,’ said Valli, naming Yves Saint Laurent, among others. ‘It is a knowledge I want to give back.’
When he was interviewed by WWD, he seemed preoccupied by his work – not only monitoring the models in his latest collection, but photographing all the looks himself with his Leica camera, and filming footage to put on his website. He confessed that ‘The two things I can’t live without are art and photos’
Giambattista trained under Emmanuel Ungaro for many years, rising to the top position, and was often thought of as the perfect successor to the French designer. When he left Ungaro to design under his own name, replacing him became a nightmare of designers coming and going, until Lindsay Lohan marked the nadir. The label is now being rehabilitated by the brilliant Brit, Giles Deacon.
- Naomi Attwood