GIAMBATTISTA VALLI took a step away from his poetic femininity last season but wholeheartedly returned to it for spring/summer 2014. His show today in the (murderously overheated) Couvent des Cordeliers presented dresses appliquéd with pansies and golden ears of corn. Sheer and roomy – the matching, collarless coats featuring his standard soft shoulders and belted in gold twine – they were romantic and barely deviated from a pared-back palette of tea-stained linen, cream and grey.
Giambattista Valli likes to surprise us too, though, so summer rattan shoppers featured swathes of brushed sheepskin on the side (as did the sleeves of some coats which looked punishing in the heat), and swung alongside stiff organza dresses and tops that moved beautifully as the models walked.
White pleated chiffon whose points had been dipped in red were a more modern choice, while bold paisley robes split up to the waist showed big knickers beneath. In fact if you’re taken with Valli next season, your underwear will need thinking about – his initial line-up of mini dresses featured clever, shapely folds over each hip to mould a knicker-revealing peplum in the front. His is a couture-inspired, elaborate femininity for whom practicality needn’t feature – but there were some incredible pretty looks here that will do for the less eccentric Valli woman.
Dolly Jones – Vogue