2013 Spring-Summer Couture, animal printed, ball gown, black, black and white, coctail dress, evening dresses, fashion, Giambattista Valli, haute couture, lavender, pink, sexy, snake print, style, white
Tulle-embellished gowns and structural mini-dresses from Italian designer Giambattista Valli’s spring/summer 2013 couture collection.
‘What is the meaning of couture?’ This is the question Valli said he had posed himself, implying that only the dreamiest, most fantastical creations made with thread as fine as angels’ wings, might do this season. ‘I wanted to separate my more industrially designed ready-to-wear from my couture,’ he said, adding. ‘It’s the kind of fantasy couture I dreamed of making when I was a student.’ He took flora and fauna as his theme and created some of the prettiest dresses you are ever likely to see. Starting out with daywear – ocelot and tiger fur patterns, all printed, embroidered or bejewelled in black and white – it all looked striking and, this being Valli, sexy, too. Then came the dreamy stuff: powder pink and white Valli’s cocktail dresses continued to stand away from the body like a flower bud. – from elle.uk
The mysterious layering continued with elaborate braid trelliswork that created a cobweb effect over the prints beneath, or impasto embroidery of flowers that muddled the big cat motifs. Valli stayed true to the classic mid-century couture silhouettes that he has made so much his own: slender-waisted coatdresses belling to full, rounded skirts, cut either to the prim mid-calf or scythed short enough to reveal a great sweep of leg (the legendary taste maven Countess Cristiana Brandolini, sitting across the runway from her granddaughter, the It Girl Bianca, reveal the range of Valli fans and their different sartorial needs). Inventive and luxurious fabrics and embellishments included crisp white faille with a dramatic band of hand-cut velvet black alligator scales down the front and a short, Watteau-back coatdress embroidered with fringed bugle-bead eyelashes. Valli’s long-term collaborator, jeweler Luigi Scialanga, meanwhile, had incorporated those antique china blooms into his magnificent cast-bronze tiaras, necklaces, and waist-cinchers that encircled the wearer in flowering branches and gave strength to the fragility.
Full, draped ball-dress skirts parted to reveal slender-legged pants beneath (“palazzo pajamas so Italian, no?” said Valli). Then the mood changed and the essence of primavera wafted into the room with the prettiest dresses for a blushing debutante, in shades of nymph’s-thigh pink and soft mauve. Valli found a cache of exquisite porcelain flowers at auction, of the type used to decorate painted tole chandeliers in the eighteenth century, and wanted to capture “the three-dimensional lightness of translucent Meissen porcelain” in these enchanting, flora-inspired pieces. Embroideries gave the illusion of print, with fondant-pink faille scrolled with a medieval rose design in silver tinsel thread or full skirts densely scattered with blossoms made from organza or feathers.