SS16: Giambattista Valli's Very Pretty Hippies

With designers across all four fashion capitals now firmly encouraging customers to embrace their individuality, the spring/summer collections were a celebration of personal style. And for the romantic at heart, red-carpet favorite Giambattista Valli didn’t disappoint.

The Roman designer’s sophisticated approach to dressing for the social calendar was more lighthearted and free in spirit this season. As someone who readily takes inspiration from the past in order to inform each contemporary collection, Valli’s current fascination with the Sixties and early Seventies was clearly in evidence.

Familiar full-skirted looks were sharper, and shorter, with thigh-grazing styles dominating the designer’s runway. Fabrics, however, were no less exquisite and detailing reassuringly elaborate – sumptuous velvets, floral embroidery and intense prints all made a welcome appearance.

Interestingly one of the looks’ most interesting elements were the shoes. Straight-strapped flatform gladiator sandals on a cushion of glittering crystals were the footwear of choice. These delicate, multi-strapped designs provided the perfect accent for the flirty A-line skirts and mini-dresses, a seasonal update on the suede, lace-fronted boots shown on the autumn/winter runway.

Giamba’s feminine-focused silhouette extends to his romantic take on modern tailoring. Firmly becoming a house favorite is the long-line tunic over trousers, which were cropped to mid-calf. And although fall’s soft, floor-skimming flares were replaced by this shorter, sharper cut, the two-piece retained its romantic glamour, courtesy of rich fabrics and opulent prints, styled with sparkly block-heels.

While this season may nod to a younger, perhaps more playful Valli customer, no collection from the designer would be complete without a clutch of sophisticated chiffon gowns. In signature jewel tones and with cinched waists, these elegant offerings also traversed the spring runway, alongside sheer showstoppers and softly tiered florals. Pretty looks aplenty to satisfy the red-carpet romantic.

You can still pre-order some of the looks from Giambattista Valli SS16 here or shop the current collection on Net-a-Porter here.