Giambattista Valli mixes the masculine with the feminine at Paris Fashion Week
For Giambattista Valli, the divide between his ready to wear collection and his haute couture offerings is wider than it has ever been. The designer, who once described couture as "a moment when you go really far from fashion", presented a timeless SS13 show at Paris Fashion Week yesterday afternoon, filled with classic, couture quality pieces.
Like Stella McCartney who presented her no fuss collection earlier that day, Giambattista also played with the concept of masculinity and femininity through delicate, decorative fabrics and strong tailoring. Transparency, monochrome and precise detailing flowed throughout the collection, from the opening slate grey suit with colour block lapels worn over a simple see through top, to the white organza shift dress featuring floral appliqué and beading that followed.
Outfits jumped from androgynous single breast jackets, tapered cigarette trousers and long shirt jumpsuits to feminine tulle swathed tulip skirts, more sleek shift dresses and lace tops. When it came to texture, Giambattista certainly wasn't shy - as well as an abundance of organza we saw gold foil on hemlines, collars and a coat, tweed and boucle on jackets, and lace on sweet jackets, fitted dresses and even a jumpsuit.
As the show picked up pace, the masculine edge began to unfurl and echoes of the floral Haute Couture collection shone through. A burst of creamy silk and red detailing added a touch of oriental charm and a beautiful strapless dress with a sheer panel skirt, stiff peplum and petal embellished bust proved to be an unforgettable piece. After the red came the lime green, the ornate crystal beading and perhaps my two favourite dresses in the collection - a white dress featuring a soft peplum, a cross over knee length skirt and a sheer top overlain with lace, and a milky shift dress covered with delicate white, green and purple floral flecks and a sheer layered skirt that resembled frosted glass. If I don't see Elizabeth Banks in one of these by the end of the year, it'll be a travesty!