The pink roses bursting over the shapely body of what was once called a ‘mannequin’ was an intriguing study of haute couture art by Giambattista Valli.
The designer took over the graceful Shangri-La Hotel in Paris, the better to show the intricacies of handwork, mostly frou-frou ruffles of feather-light fabrics – including the plumes themselves. It was all in deliberate contrast to the other project for Valli’s atelier: working out how to create a mini collection for H&M that will go on sale in November.https://www.instagram.com/p/BzaDS0Yn-t0/?utm_source=ig_embed“Because there are so many things to do with H&M, I asked myself if I want to take pleasure in sitting and working with my atelier to be the full creator of Giambattista Valli,” the designer said, standing in front of the fuzz of fabrics.https://www.instagram.com/p/BzaD4p2nmM2/?utm_source=ig_embed“I wanted to do it for a long time – and this really is the time,” he continued. “Sometimes things on the runway miss the magic. So I wanted to do something magical with sheer fabrics and very classical techniques. And that is very difficult to do. This for me is like the Sala Bianca (the original location in Florence for showing Italian fashion), or Yves Saint Laurent in Marrakech. I said to myself, ‘How beautiful it could be to do that.’ It looks very effortless here, and I love that, but it was very complex to do.”
Valli’s words summarised the situation that haute couture finds itself in today. To get attention amid a flood of different fashion lines – Cruise, Resort, Pre-Fall and Collection – couture has to distinguish itself – and do that globally. At the high end, it means fantastical shows in far-off places, hence this season’s Fendi at the heart of ancient Rome by the Coliseum and Dolce & Gabbana among the ancient Greek ruins in Sicily. For designer shows in general, the first half of this year has moved models from Japan to Marrakesh and to so many more countries both East and West.