At Giambattista Valli, A Regal Display Of Macro-Couture
Fit for a Royal, indeed. Dramatic sleeves, ostrich feathers, structured crinolines and velvet ballet shoes streamed down Valli's Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2023 runway in Paris
For Giambattista Valli’s Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2023 outing, it wasn’t the diaphanous white organza cascading beneath a black bustier asymmetrical gown that caught guests’ gaze (above), but rather the deft departure of the high-heel (in a good few early looks, anyway).
You see, a chintzy stiletto and a voluminous Valli are a symbiotic union as famed as Yves Saint Laurent and Nan Kempner, Hermés and Jane Birkin, Sonny and Cher—the list goes on. So when Rome-born, Antonioni-influenced Giambattista Valli—renowned for his innate ability to create a proverbial full-scale Cinderella dreamscape—replaced the heel for a dainty velvet ballet flat(with a crystal-encrusted bow at its toe, and a neat little buckle) it was as if the main character in our favourite fairy tale suddenly had some glamorous errands to run.
Yes, to be on a fly on the wall at Valli’s new headquarters in Paris would make for fanciful literature, and the House’s Haute Couture FW23’s a statement chapter. Reams of Lacroix-style gathered silk were dramatically reconfigured one hundred ways and streamed down the cream-carpeted runway on July 3, a pathway hemmed in by the likes of Kathy and Nicky Hilton, Olivia Palermo, Mathilde Pinault and Camila Cabello.
Silk was delicately draped off-the-shoulder of many gowns with a handful seamlessly shaped by a structured crinoline and layers-upon-layers of organza. It was indeed the reoccurrence of such understructures which played into this Victorian-era-meets-modern-day-couture moment, partly expected given Valli’s fervent belief that modernity is rooted in classicism. Elsewhere, balloon sleeves, ostrich feathers, embellished lace, and a fringed metallic jumpsuit in silver.
The final look, modelled by model and member of the non-reigning Greek Royal family, Olympia of Greece, was core Valli; a sequinned heart-shaped bustier, and an explosion of rosettes in pale pink plissé tulle.
Importantly, the Royal was in heels. A fairytale ending to this Valli instalment.