Giambattista Valli's AW 2013 couture china dolls
To say Giambattista Valli has hit his stride when it comes to couture would be an understatement. The designer is five seasons into his love affair with couture, but you'd be forgiven for thinking he's been doing this for decades. Fans know what they're getting with Valli - this is the designer to turn to for romance, frills and texture, embroidery, florals and a modern, stylish approach to 'pretty'.
This season, as well as the usual embroidered florals and structured drapes, china provided the inspiration, with a succession of dresses that paid homage to pottery from various regions. Most obvious was the Wedgwood, a reworking of the blue and white patterns we've seen from a few designers over the past few seasons (Valentino, Carven etc).
The show started off very light, with white lace dresses, full of frills, belted at the waist with short hemlines. Towards the end, those hemlines dropped and in came the colour - floral embroidery, fluffy applique blooms in raspberry pink, and a succession of lacy gowns, including a showstopping yellow number with a rise and fall bubble hem.
For those who love romantic, feminine couture over the more challenging or modern looks being offered at other houses, this show is a dream. If you prefer androgyny and pared-back chic, there are probably about 600 frills too many in this show.