GIAMBATTISTA VALLI AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK

GIAMBATTISTA VALLI AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR PARIS FASHION WEEK

We already know Giambattista Valli can give good mood board, but today there was simply a serene set of tantric images on his wall, matching the design in the thick pile that carpeted his show space. It might have been an index of his state of mind rather than the state of his collection, because it was less serenity than solidity that impressed with his clothes. There was something very upholstery-like about his graphic prints, patterns, and textures. You could picture a world of contemporary Roman interiors circa 1966, the city and year of his birth. And the ruffles and puffed shoulders and bands of sheen might have been the sort of details that would have spiced up the wardrobes of women in that era.

In fact, one such style icon was sitting right across the catwalk. Lee Radziwill is a longtime Valli girl, and it didn’t take much to picture her in a black tunic, its neckline traced in sequins, like faux necklaces, with matching flared trousers. “Lee…or Bianca,” said Valli backstage, mentioning the other woman in his life, the spectacular Miss Brandolini.

The lean tunic silhouette over narrow, flaring pants has taken over from the short, full dresses that Valli used to favor. It’s a more serious, adult look, which worked best in its simplest renditions—that black outfit, for instance, or the black-sleeved beige over striped pants. But Valli’s fabrications, echoes of upholstery aside, introduced an element of eccentricity. He’s very keen on odd florals, in an equally off palette. And why would a little white lace dress be lumbered with a sequined checkerboard bodice? Keeping us on our tantric toes, perhaps.

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