2012 July 3

Paris Couture: Giambattista Valli

Giambatista Valli Haute Couture Fall 2012 Giambatista Valli Haute Couture Fall 2012
View Gallery

(PARIS) Giambattista Valli
Care for a dollop of whimsy avec your couture? Giambattista Valli conjured up a fantastical tribe of nocturnal nymphs—you know, the kind that frolic by moonlight in the Giverny Gardens—for his third couture outing at the Hôtel de Crillon. Leggy woodland creatures, with netted visages and butterfly lips, tiptoed down the runway frothed in a bounty of botanical prints exploding into organza ruffles at the necks and knees. (Influenced by the Gardens' most loyal habitué Claude Monet, perhaps?) At times, Valli's magical vision leaned more toward folly than function as fantasy is inclined to do, leaving a couple over-the-top looks to, shall we say, grow on us. Such was the case with the opening sequence—rouge party confection boasting a blooming pompom collar and a rippling hemline—which read more athlétique than our dainty fairies are accustomed to. But there was plenty of opulent evening attire that proved fruitful. For instance, a structured, tulip-shaped cocktail dress accented with lacy leaf appliques in one look or a gold foliage necklace placed just so at the shoulders on another. Or any number of floral peplum jackets twinned with easy-to-wear pencil skirts in evergreen, burgundy, and petal pink. With un petit pruning, this is one garden party that's sure to attract Valli girls on and off the tapis rouge.