Giambattista Valli channels the multicultural spirit of the seventies
From his adventurous journalist look à la Oriana Fallaci, which coupled a black denim boiler suit with a neckerchief, or a straight trouser with a little jacket, to his enlightened maxi tunic-clad priestess, whose face literally glowed thanks to full-coverage glitter makeup, Giambattista Valli offered his audience a revival of the 1970s in Paris on Monday, taking inspiration from the multicultural spirit that characterized the decade.
It was a surprising collection, in which the designer deviated from his usual romantic, hyper-feminine universe. Instead, a jumble of Middle Eastern influences mixed with a somewhat fantastical vision of India and a Western touch present in chic masculine suits and evening gowns with glamorous trains.
"It's a journey of self discovery through a confrontation with different cultures. I wanted a clash of cultures, total freedom of expression, in order to show that extraordinary harmony can exist in the world without it having to be conditioned by globalization", explained the Italian designer, who founded his house in Paris and has held his runway show there ever since.
Ethnic patterns and afghans mingled with frilled floral dresses or Scottish-inspired woolen pieces, used to particular effect in elegant tartan three-piece suits. Bra-sized micro-waistcoats in crochet, or macramé boleros, were worn over long monochromatic folk tunics.
Rounding out the 70s revival vibe, the models wore fur-lined sandals or imposing thigh-high boots, and carried minuscule pouches which hung from strings around their necks like pendants.
Giambattista Valli also presented a series of superb floor-length maxi coats in short-haired fur, shimmering ribbed velvet, curled wool or grey and white check – not forgetting, of course, a dark trench version.
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