Giambattista Valli’s modern woman

ELLE's Paris Fashion Week review

Caught in an it-girl sandwich backstage, between Elena Perminova and Bianca Brandolini, Giambattista Valli was heard saying: ‘Tones like shadows… mink, fox, astrakhan.’ That was it before he was whisked away for a photocall with his girls.

But this collection really didn’t require an explanation; it was perfectly clear who Valli’s woman was this season (one only had to be backstage), what it was he wanted to say and how successful the result. Valli is an expert at wardrobing a certain money-no-object woman and they come to him their droves for his modern couture – even his ready to wear has a couture-crafted feel.

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Don’t mistake these young women for the clichéd ladies who lunch types – although, the big thing with Valli is that his clothes are ageless so his appeal probably encompasses both. But essentially, Valli’s women are after his strong, clean-cut, beautifully crafted clothes. They will adore the way he put flat ponyskin loafers with a chic black lacquered jumpsuit or with his romantic draped silk dresses. They will love the fur bibs offered on sharp shifts and the floral crystal designs on his pale pistachio coat, and the snowy white, tone-on-tone luxury of it all.

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As for hitting the season's key trends, he did that too: leopard prints (a signature he developed at his last couture show) appeared here in split-front skirts and plain tops; another power print was the vibrant red rose on black. There was even a luxed-up sporty vibe on the punchy red loose suit that zippered back to reveal a red mink lining. The funnel neck also played a major role, in fur or crystal. In fact the neck became something of a focus on fluid chiffons, where soft floating bows added just the right quotient of femininity.

The designer used this collection to announce the launch of his ‘Valli’ bag – a simple bold design with a circle of gold as a ‘touch button’ clasp. ‘The timeless structure of the bag permits the Valli client to transpose her own universe and mood thanks to the many options of fabrics, skins…’ The same could be said of his clothes.

See the Giambattista Valli A/W 2013 collection

See Elena Perminova's London Fashion Week wardrobe

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