Giambattista Valli had photos of Gabrielle Chanel and Janis Joplin pinned to his mood board backstage. Dresses and skirts over pants were a new addition to the Valli couture canon, a logical extension to his tiered approach to design, wherein the bodice, the waist or hips, and the rest of the body are banded in different fabrics, textures and embroideries.
Exit three, in the black-and-white shades Coco always favored, was a simple stunner: a sleeveless silk shell etched with botanical embroideries, a band of black satin and a fog of point d’esprit flaring over silk crepe pants.A cardigan-like jacket in silk cloque, or a handsome redingote in white lace, matched with more skirt-and-pant combos, were other obvious nods to the Rue Cambon.
The show climaxed with more demonstrative flourishes, as dresses sprouted puffy sleeves and neck ruffs that Valli said winked to the Victorian blouses Joplin and her psychedelic ilk might have worn. The pink ball gowns for the finale were the usual bulbous explosions of tulle and ruffles that made a great photo op grouped together on Valli’s carpeted runway.