For his Spring/Summer 2021 collection, Giambattista Valli referenced the current state of the world in the most nuanced of ways – he chose to strip his historically decorative aesthetic right back, signalling our collective return to the bare essentials. He chose to lean in to fashion’s new direction, which saw staged runways and unwearable clothing become relics of the past in favour of pragmatism. That isn’t to suggest that Valli’s fanciful taste has undergone an austere shift; it remained palpable via the whimsical lace, frills and many floral motifs that were heroed throughout. Rather the collection felt refreshingly purposeful, with each garment easily imaginable in the modern woman’s wardrobe. There were structured two-piece suits in sumptuous tweeds for the board room, floating maxi dresses for weekends in the country, and – as illustrated – cascading ruffle dresses in gelato hues, perfect for post-pandemic parties. Grosgrain ribbons were the ladylike topper for Valli’s true-to-life vision, reminding the wearer that realism needn’t be devoid of drama.
This is Giambattista Valli’s new work of art.