Louvered panels hovering high above the Giambattista Valli runway cast evocative shadows on his wide, pale-carpeted runway, like morning sunlight streaking the imprint of the shutters on the bedroom walls of a Mediterranean villa. “Where do you come from?” asked the girl on the sound track. “I just travel,” answered the guy.
This relaxed, devil-may-care, holiday-in-the-sun attitude colored Valli’s seductive collection—he describes it “a late-sixties, early-seventies kind of freedom and eccentricity,” and his mood board also included images of Diana Vreeland in the thirties and forties, having lunch by the pool with a towel wrapped insouciantly—but perfectly—around her, and a scarf wrapped as a turbaned bandana.
The show opened with dresses that suggested the Valli girl had tumbled lazily out of bed or the pool, and shrugged on her partner’s pajamas (rolling the pant hems up) or stripey cotton shirt, and wrapped a towel or two (in black and white ticking stripes) carelessly around her, evoking the look of a beauty in an Asian painting.
That boyfriend shirt might be worn with a mermaid skirt in pretty yellow and green daisy-patterned lace, or a pajama top with a fabulous ball skirt of countless chiffon ruffles, ombré-shaded from off-white through citrus yellow or green, or from blush pink to magenta—or in thick fronds of powder-blue ostrich plumes.