It is day two of fashion’s first-ever virtual couture week, and while the much-anticipated occasion is only just beginning, Giambattista Valli is already strides ahead of its fellow brands. For the Italian designer’s fall ‘20 haute couture collection, Valli dressed supermodel Joan Smalls in 18 gowns, each one bigger and more tulle-adorned than the one before. The collection was Giambattista Valli at its finest, with petticoat-like bubble waists, voluminous skirts, and plenty of dresses of the mini variety, most of which include an eye-catching train and a taffeta bow to boot.
Mixed in with a palette of pastel pinks, reds, and blacks are five ivory ensembles perfect for brides-to-be. For the final look (which is often a bridal one in couture), he designed a polka dot-like embroidered veil — secured with a black silken bow — that blankets the accompanying strapless gown and its three-tiered skirt. Smalls also models a two-piece look which includes a taffeta bow bodice paired with a sweeping waterfall skirt, a delicate tulle mini dress with a similar bow centrepiece, and a vintage-inspired ivory number that could easily double as a couture nightgown with the right pair of satin slippers.
His fifth white look featured a face covering fit for the modern bride who wants to take COVID-19 safety precautions: a silk chiffon headpiece with cutouts around the eyes. For any non-brides looking to participate, the accessory also appears in red, pink, and black. It’s not exactly PPE, but it’s very pretty.
According to the show notes, this season’s collection is an ode to the city where it was conceived, or as Valli calls it, “La Ville Lumière.” The red gowns are meant to mimic the lipstick left around the rim of empty café cups, while black is an ode to iconic LBDs. Pink represents the city’s many rose gardens, and white symbolises French architecture, specifically the decorative white moulding present in most Parisian apartments. Like us, Valli’s been inside for most of 2020, appreciating the indoor spaces that surround him and dreaming of the beautiful city he recalls from simpler times. “In the horror of what we’re passing through, there was beauty blooming at the same time,” the designer told Vogue, a lesson that he brought to life for fall ‘20.