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Valli’s Versailles Femininity

Godfrey Deeny
October 05th, 2010 @ 00:51 AM - Paris

A modernist baroque mood has been wafting across European catwalks this season and achieved its most exemplary and technologically twisted statement Monday, Oct. 4, in Paris in the latest collection by Giambattista Valli.

Valli’s take was modernist yet indebted to the past, as the ‘60s met Versailles in this strikingly pretty show, staged in disused bank in Place Vendome, the Paris square containing the most high-end jewelers in the world.

“I visited Versailles, and wanted to inject a little of its unique beauty into this collection, but in a very modern way,” Valli explained after the show, staged before a massive electronic wall where abstract images of Baroque twirls and curls were projected.

For next spring, Valli wants to see ladies in mini shirt cocktail dresses composed of mixes of metallic wool, with badges and strips of silver, in shapes reminiscent of Pierre Cardin’s early ‘60s ideas. For a tougher rendezvous, he suggests strict body-hugging futurist suits – Starship Enterprise meets Louis XIV.

But, Valli took this whole look somewhere else with remarkable prints, inspired by the arches and moldings of Versailles, lightly done and imparting a rather ethereal air.

Valli also riffed on all his signature tricks – twisted fabric flowers used as decoration on white silk mini dresses, or feathers used as abstract motifs on cocktail dresses – all of them in synch and very stylish.

Cut half with up the thigh and worn with a new centurion’s style sandal with metallic squares attached, this collection was the epitome of edgy modern elegance.

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