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12-01-2012
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Giambattista Valli Pre-Fall 2012
By Nicole Phelps


Quote:
Giambattista Valli presented pre-fall in his new West 27th Street showroom. The massive top-floor space with floor-to-ceiling views on three sides would seem to indicate that business is going very well chez Valli. He certainly didn't skimp on materials for this latest outing. Indeed, he may have come up with an entirely new category: the fur dress. Presumably, his rich clients in South America and the Middle East—the kind who rang him up after his first-ever Couture show in July to order five-figure gowns directly from online pictures—have enough fur coats. The mink and fox frocks he showed today follow the general description of the silhouette he's known for: sleeveless, slightly A-line, and above the knee.

There were plenty of his signature patchwork creations, but where Spring was sweet, this season's offerings have a darker, richer feel, exemplified by a coat-dress that married nubby black wool, a gold brocade, and a diamond-pattern jacquard that Valli said reminded him of furniture fabric. There wasn't a sequin or bead in sight. The most striking look, in fact, was a cropped top with three-quarter-length sleeves in a brick red wool and its matching high-waisted, flared trousers. Signs of a more streamlined Valli to come? Those aforementioned clients may take issue, but diversifying, remember, is key to growing a business.



-style

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12-01-2012
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by Emily Holt


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No one needs to tell Giambattista Valli that, these days, the fashion cycle is more like a rapidly accelerating treadmill with a mind of its own. After presenting pre-fall in New York today, he’ll return to Paris where he has two weeks to finish his second haute couture collection and six weeks to wrap up fall. Other designers might lament the workload, but Valli refuses to look at it as anything other than a privilege because he knows his mood will reverberate through the clothes.

“Sometimes designers say, ‘Oh my God, I’m devastated by the stress,’ ” he says. “They needed 3,500 hours or 3,000 meters of whatever to do one dress. You end up really scared of the piece.”

This is not to say that Valli is casual about his work. Rather he seems quite serious about this lack of seriousness. Why else go to such lengths (one imagines there are many) to render fur coats in featherweight layers of mink, fox, and Persian lamb, relieving his ladies of any burden physical or metaphorical? There’s also an unquestionable sense of play in the short puffers with beaded collars or done in a trompe l’oeil tweed-print nylon—just the kind of pieces one would imagine on Lee Radziwill in Gstaad (though since this collection hits stores in summer, she may have to wait a few months to wear it).

One just as easily could picture one of Valli’s glam girls like Eugenie Niarchos going about her day in lean print pants with matching, minimalist tops or wearing one of the eclectic mixed-material dresses underneath a striped fur vest—or pairing individual pieces with hand-me-downs from her mother, Victoria.

“I always say I do 50 percent of the job, and the other 50 is how the woman’s going to interpret the clothes,” Valli says. “You have to make her comfortable enough to put her personality into them.”



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i like this, elegant without being over the top

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12-01-2012
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I think some of this is a little outdated, but overall very lovely.

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Quite possibly the worst use of fur I've ever seen. All the fur pieces look really random and ugly. Can't say that I like any of the rest either, it all looks a bit too frumpy and uninspired to me. Oh well, I hope this turned out so lackluster because he's focusing on creating a fab Haute Couture collection right now :p

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