Giambattista Valli Makes a Case for Confectionary Black Gowns at Paris Haute Couture Week
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Though white wedding gowns unquestionably reign supreme, the bewitching allure of black bridal regalia still prowls, never to be dismissed. If snow-white bridalwear doesn’t fit your vision, fear not—moodier offerings abound in the world of fashion, ripe for your picking.
Case in point: the Giambattista Valli show at the Paris Haute Couture Week Fall/Winter 2023-2024.
Simply tagged “Haute Couture 25,” the presentation is a lucid ballet of elegant contrasts that flip the familiar. For starters, a handful of the gowns are fairly bridal in style, except that they’re in stark black and white, as though they had been rendered on x-ray film. Petticoats and crinolines—vintage and queenly upon first glance—glint with a somber, gothic defiance, courtesy of charcoal lace, peekaboo underskirts, and the subtlest glitter.
Also present are pillowy skirts, lush and soft as frosting. Shiny trains are left unpressed, diffusing the formal fabric with a lived-in feel. Notched bustiers snip through exuberant bushes of wild tulle. True whites are layered with powdery off-whites, collaging the vibrance of the brand new with the heirloom.
Valli’s brand of glamor isn’t ablaze—it’s handed to you gift-wrapped, sealed with a satin bow.
The Rome-born designer’s haute couture catalog is bursting with flower bouquet-inspired creations, and this installment is no exception. Some silhouettes initially register as traditional gowns, but dodge clichés: his fleurs are less candy blossoms than they are carnations and roses on the verge of coming undone, loosened by humidity and warm rain. The supersized frills mirror the pyramidal manes of pine trees.
This sharp collection proves that clever tweaks, no matter how slight, can completely transform the mood of an otherwise standard-chic outfit. Whether it be through pastry-esque draping, an off-kilter trim, or an unexpected ebony wash, Valli dares the rebel bride to stud her wedding look with her fingerprints.
All the Best Looks of Giambattista Valli’s Haute Couture 25 Show
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