Beauty & Fashion

Giambattista Valli Fall 2024 Couture Collection

Giambattista Valli Fall 2024 Couture Collection

India is never far from Giambattista Valli’s inspiration. Whenever he can, he retreats to Jaipur to immerse his senses in the pink healing aura of the city. The experience of laying down among the scented shrubs and marvelous flowers of the Suryagarh gardens in Jaisalmer is a feel akin to “a caress for the soul,” he said. He wanted this couture collection to replicate the same sensation of “supreme bien être.”

“It isn’t about India, rather about a sort of surreal conversation that for me is very real,” he explained backstage, flanked by a humongous bouquet of flowers whose effusive smell wafted in the air. The conversation Valli envisioned was between the languid Renaissance grace of Botticelli’s Primavera and the enameled perfection of exquisite Mughal miniatures, whose images were plastered on the moodboard. He pointed out that during the Renaissance, Florentine artisans, skilled in the art of scagliola, an elaborate marble intarsia technique, traveled to Agra to work on the Taj Mahal. “It was a conversation between cultures,” said Valli. “That’s what I find fascinating, and I believe that such dialogue is of the utmost relevance today, in our present troubled circumstances.”

Valli also believes in the healing power of beauty, and flowers are the ultimate embodiment of botanical pulchritude. Indulging memories of “the abundance of floral garlands strewn outside every Indian temple,” he lavished blooms throughout the collection. On delicate, fragile silhouettes, tulle bustiers and corsets were variously draped in delicate-hued floating chiffons mousselines, with blossoms burgeoning from the décolleté, or shrubs cascading from the shoulders, or bouquets printed like blurred shadows on organza, or else petals interspersed between flimsy layers of georgette, billowy “as if blown by the wind.”

Sculpting volumes through draping is one of Valli’s fortes—he never met a bouillonnée shape he didn’t like. Here his play was gentle and concise, in an airy crescendo of colors and shapes “as if they were notes from a score.” Two Indian musicians performed live at the show: Valli apparently wanted to bring us up to a different frequency. “That’s the caress for the soul I was talking about,” he said. “People today think that beauty isn’t cool. Nonsense.”

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