In a marked contrast to his sharp, structured and wonderfully ornate haute couture collection presented this summer, Giambattista Valli showed a more fluid, carefree collection in Paris this week, with modern propositions for everyday and events alike.
Spring/Summer '17 expanded Valli's aesthetic, with a more daring yet sport-inspired feel. Pretty puffed-sleeved toppers were cropped to the waist and fastened with zippers and drawstring ties, fusing the practical with the playfully feminine.
Feminine florals were given a contemporary edge, with exposed shoulders and deep v-necklines, offset by full, often floor-skimming hems and long languid sleeves. Dark florals were also a key part of the collection, providing an elegant contrast, but with sheer inserts and tumbling lace trims, the mood was kept upbeat.
Black lace lingerie was often seen peeking from beneath a dress, a coat or styled overtly, as seen on Sara Sampaio. The designer's reveal-and-conceal look was re-imagined, and also took a more sporty turn, with a fishnet-inspired sheath modelled by Gigi Hadid closing the show.
Some often stick the 'young' label to Valli's collections, but it's really more about irreverence and extreme self-possession. "I want to underline who is Giambattista Valli and the woman who belongs to the name", the designer explained backstage. And given the depth and breadth of this collection, it's clear that the Valli woman is more complex and characterful than perhaps his red-carpet reputation previously allowed. And some might even say ageless.