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PFW Spring 2014: Five minutes with Giambattista Valli
Paris scene: Cocktail party to celebrate the launch of the Italian designer’s eponymously titled book (Rizzoli).
It’s now the second time at
Paris Fashion Week that I’ve heard the collection’s muse described as being “intellectual.” On Sunday, hair stylist James Pecis
described the Chloé girl as sophisticated and brainy. Tonight, Giambattista Valli told me that his woman was a Pasolinian. (For those not up on their Italian cultural history, Paolo Pasolini was a philosopher and auteur in the ’60s who used female characters to challenge the ruling class.) Valli is using his runway as a similar platform. “I’m showing more of my Italian side with this collection,” he explained. “Right now there is a bit of confusion in my country, but I wanted to bring back the intellectual side of Italy through the eyes of Pasolini.”
So what does a Pasolinian woman look like? Read on for more pics…
Since his Paris debut in 2005, Valli’s romantic and opulent creations have engendered a loyal, well-heeled following. Today’s show with its poetic yet bold transparencies, tubular silhouettes,
gilded fabrics and delicate flower appliqués, will have the A-list set placing their orders—even if they’re not interested in the political or cultural subtext of the looks. “I know designers aren’t saving the life of anyone, but we do have a strong possibility to pass a message to people,” he paused. “We can improve the soul of somebody; the dream of somebody. This is very important.” When I asked what his message is, he smiled. “Be free. Get your freedom so you can express yourself 100 percent. Secondly, have high references or inspirations in life. Cultivate and nourish yourself. Nourish your soul. That is my message to a new generation.” You can start with Valli’s gorgeous book, which he admits reflect all his “obsessions” starting with Italian art from the ’60s and ’70s. He then effortlessly starts listing off the people who have shaped his point of view. “Artists like Marco Mazzoni, film director, Michelangelo Antonioni—Fellini, of course—and the artist Louise Bourgeois. I learned a lot about women through her.” Such as, I asked. “They have an intimate universe that’s inside and not always expressed and they have this nostalgia about love.” No wonder, Valli understands his clients so well.
Collection reel…. Here are some of my favourite looks from Giambattista Valli’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection.
Look #31: Delicate and romantic floral embellishments bring an elegant femininity to the look.
Look #20: A touch of fur—for an added and unexpected luxe fashion note for spring.