While louvred panels filtered light onto the runway like morning sunlight in a Meditarranean villa, the collection opened with dresses that would be found on the Valli girl whilst she tumbles out of bed : slacked-silhouette pajama-esque silk pieces with simple monochrome stripes, then a series of airy midi frocks dressed in delicate taffeta and tulle. And what better to wander around the Gardens in than these floral-appliqued gowns? Striking roses and poppies adorned the semi-pencil skirts that brushed slightly below the knee, while capelets and crop tops gave a twist of youthfulness to the grown-up looks.
"The secret of my girls is that they're always eccentric. They don't play it. They are."
Eccentricity was in the form of accessories for this show : to protect herself from the heat and the sun, the Valli girl dons a pair of designer shades and a cream Cinderella-esque headscarf, the only accessories worthy of such an opulent look. For night, she is adorned with lavish feathery ball skirts of chiffon and tulle ruffles in pastel shades of ombré from fuchsia to seafoam and lemon yellow, with some looks also worn with a "monkey" cape trailing with a flourish, which could only have come with the exquisite craftsmanship of a couture atelier.
While it was meant for the modern woman, the collection had an undeniable retro old Hollywood feel, and it was no surprise Valli described it as "a late-sixties, early-seventies kind of freedom and eccentricity,” while his mood board had pictures of images of Diana Vreeland having lunch by the pool with a towel wrapped perfectly around her head. His devil-may-care vacation attitude to seductiveness has proved that the Valli girl can be both eccentric yet elegant, and the collection had that down to a T. His play with shapes, textures and prints? That's modern couture chic.
Images from one, two, three