Giambattista Valli Couture Fall Winter 2013 Paris
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Giambattista Valli chosen theme for his fifth haute couture show was very astute. The Italian designer played to his sculptural strengths and looked to the world of porcelain figurines from the finest and most famous houses around the world to inspire his fall/winter 2013 show.

Breaking the collection up into four different vignettes for each distinctive style of porcelain statuettes- Capodimonte, Wedgewood, Sevres and Meissen- Valli was able to get seriously creative, but always tasteful, with his exploration of feminine adornments.

First up was Capodimonte, which has a signature style of three-dimensional flower appliqué on its pieces. The designer reinterpreted this technique by frothing out a classic wool evening coat with budding organza flowers or covering semi sheer mille-feuille pleated tulle skirts and short evening dresses in a white lace and floral relief embroidery. 



For the Wedgewood designs, the company’s famous blue shade was unmistakable as a voluminous bow of silk fabric spilling over a fitted black skirt or coloring the background of a white garland embroidered short dress that curved out and away from the hips.

As for Sèvres, this was where Valli played with prints to great effect. They made a nice change of pace from all of the other highly adorned dresses. One standout was a creamy white silk crepe gown with a red flower print design that glided down the runway with an asymmetrical top that had the fabric sexily sliding off one shoulder.  



The final Meissen group was were the designer brought in some bold color block pieces. They might have been in keeping with the style of the porcelain house but felt out of sync with the rest of this collection. Looking instead to be more in line with the work currently being done over at Dior.

But this was a minor bump in a collection that truly was an ode to pristine beauty and refined femininity. Looking at the quality of the workmanship and artisanal flair of each of the ensembles from this show and it is hard to believe Valli has only been at this for three years.

- Jessica Michault

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