It is true that all things must pass, but what remains in the interim? The seconds as audience members take their seats in suspense for Italian couturier, Giambattista Valli, to present his latest Haute Couture collection under his eponymous maison. The beats between a caterpillar splitting from its chrysalis to emerge as a butterfly. The period between a flower bud before basking in bloom. It was this concept of nature’s infinite rhythms that fueled the 57-year-old designer’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection. A fitting probe considering Valli’s entering a new season of his own as he makes his second Saturn return. In Western Astrology, this celestial movement marks a modality of maturity. Pertinent then, for Valli to extrapolate on the gesture of couture and the archetypes of the craft through a botanical cadence.
It’s traditional for flowers to be tossed on stage at the end of a performance. But rather than wait to receive his floral accolades, Valli placed them in the centre of his work. From the outset—a prêt-à-porter inspired bodysuit adorned with white rosettes—it was apparent the intersection between humanity’s dexterous touch and the craft embedded into the natural world was his statement. The quiet grandiosity of artistry begins, at least for a designer, with a fabric bust form. So, it was this silhouette—rendered in a black velvet fabrication and contrasting white floral trim—that commenced the procession.
Valli has always created with fantasy front of mind. Expanding on his Princess-inspired vocabulary of last season, Valli toyed with feminine archetypes found in bygone ballrooms. There is grace in restraint, and this is what Valli offered in his nouveau draping and expansive tiering. The contours of the body pulsate through skin-conscious sequins and opulent puff sleeves, with everything kept close to the chest this season and sliced into slick minis with extravagant trains.
Valli has always been a romantic at heart, but for this collection, he’s abstained from literal representations of adoration for an exploration of Romanticism. Both in form and ideal, 19th Century movement encouraging glorification of the past and nature, becomes an apt lens to look back on. As the doctrine of Romanticism suggests, “The artist’s feeling is his law.” Valli’s statute? A ballet of beauty.
Watch the Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2024 show below and HERE.
This story first appeared on GRAZIA International.