Remember all those 70s looks we saw in Milan last week? Well, they’ve followed Giambattista Valli to Paris. Quick, grab a broom, maybe we can beat them back. Not that I necessarily have anything against the 70s. I rather enjoyed the decade when it occurred and it holds a lot of fond memories. But after seeing flared bell bottom legs and fringe and billowed sleeves in practically every Milan collection that took to the runway, I’ve more than had my fill for a while.

Fortunately, there is some extremely well done floral embroidery that makes this collection worth a second or third glance. Fashioned after the colorful buds on trees, it is the perfect motif for Spring and the detail in making the buds stand out is exquisite. Even if everything else in the collection were horrid I would still encourage looking at this line simply on the power of the embroidery alone.

Delicate layering is also a strong point, though, with Valli leaving just hints of contrasting fabric along the hems, under the most horrible fringe ever, and beautifully overlapping circles that merge print and solid with 3D petals. Little touches make a huge difference in distinguishing this collection and it is nice to see them done so very well.

On the down side, though, there is that horrible long fringe that reminds one far too much of something that’s been put through a paper shredder. I actually made a dress of shredded paper for a photoshoot some four or five years ago. My concoction looked bad enough. Valli’s, I’m sad to say, is worse. There was also a briefly horrifying moment when Valli took a page from Bill Gaytten’s John Galliano collection with a dress completely covered in 3D leaves. At least Valli’s didn’t leave a trail on the runway.

One has to really be in the mood to tolerate more of the 70s styles in order to survive this Giambattista Valli collection. What started as a nice trend in New York is now more of a nightmare no one wants to endure. Thankfully, there are some wonderful reasons for enduring the clichè to get to the truly artistic and original pieces. You’ll want to pick very carefully.

Photo credit: Guillaume Roujas


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