PFW A/W '11 Report: Giambattista Valli

08 March 2011

Having just celebrated the opening of a brand new Paris flagship store, Giambattista Valli is on a bit of a roll. With his long front row of leggy social A-listers who loyally turn out to support him, you can sense his confidence.  Everyone from the relatively new kids on the cocktail circuit like Bianca Brandolini, Elettra Wiedemann and Charlotte Dellal  to the seasoned hands such as the eternally chic Lee Radziwill (sister of Jackie Kennedy Onassis) were there to support their good friend Giamba.

They are clearly never far from his mind when he designs a collection and his success is a perfect example of how it can’t hurt to do what your customer wants. So the shifts were cut high above the knee, with trims of sparkling embroidery tucked discreetly into shoulders. Slim leggy pants were cut high on the waist and worn with short tunics.

The show came alive for me with the prints: painterly splashes of carmine or steely grey blooms on simple silk dresses and coats or on floor length skirts. The silhouette felt more at home over heels rather than the flat mannish shoes that were the option. But the flats did give those perfect cocktail dresses a bit of an urban edge and another element of Giambattista Valli’s success is that he never quite plays by the rules of the society parlour game.

The show finished with a blast of scarlet in a catwalk wide tulle ballgown that had the ladies practically swooning in their seats.

- Paula Reed in Paris


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