Arguably the most Instagrammed image of the Giambattista Valli show, besides Gigi Hadid in the final flowing bejeweled saffron dress, was a love poem written by Frida Kahlo that the designer had posted on the wall backstage. Even Hadid herself snapped a photo of it and put it on her feed, to inspire her 6.8 million followers.
The poem talks about the kind of lover a person deserves. And, to paraphrase, it comes down to someone who accepts you, faults and all, and still thinks you make the world turn on its axis.
This acceptance is also how the fashion set feels about Valli. It recognizes that he lives in a world where women dress in romantic feminine clothing. Where garments — short and playful for day and statement-making for night — will more often than not be covered in flora or geometric patterns and feature bejeweled embellishments or bold jewelry. All of it constructed out of noble materials like guipure lace, silks, organza, jacquards, brocade and their ilk.
Minimal or understated are not words often associated with Valli and that's just fine. The fashion world needs its daring maximalist who will not turn away from blending stripes and blooms on a single look and takes relish in creating clothing festooned with beading. Then finishes off the look with a flourish of gladiator sandals with thick soles shimmering with colorful paillette.
One diehard "Valli girl" — as his clients are called — was quick to congratulate the designer after his grandiose show. As Salma Hayek Pinault posed for pictures with Valli, the Kahlo connection came full circle. She was, after all, nominated for an Oscar for playing the passionate visionary artist.