This Italian-born, Paris-based designer was just upgraded by the Chambre Syndicale from guest member to a bona fide holder of the official haute couture appellation. It’s a rite of passage Giambattista Valli marked by shifting his show from the arcade near his headquarters to the gilded salons at the Crillon hotel — and by celebrating what he called “the art of the atelier.”
Except for a few luncheon suits with abbreviated jackets, Valli lavished most of his attention on cocktail and evening looks. Enter the embroidered lace, dense rows of jet beads and ribbons of tiny sequins fanning out like sunrays over diaphanous gowns. As the show progressed to grand evening, a floral theme blossomed with hydrangea colors and outsize orchid prints on bulbous gowns with panniers. But the most impactful looks were often the simplest: a sculpted, sleeveless evening jacket with a pencil skirt; a feather-light, long-sleeve gown with a sequined bodice and a sheer skirt banded in ribbons.