|Backstage at Giambattista Valli Fall 2015 Couture via vogue.com|
Giambattista Valli has proven himself to be the master of youth couture. Each collection is energetic and fresh and above all else, fun! Valli takes fashion design and construction seriously, but he knows that ultimately fashion is about having fun. For Fall 2015, the groovy sixties provided major inspiration, from the oversized round sunglasses to the mod shapes and electric colors. The dress-over-pants trend is sure to continue into fall thanks to Valli's stylish options.
What I love most about Giambattista Valli collections is that you can always understand the kind of "girl" he is looking to dress. This season, the Valli girl (not to be confused with the trashy Valley Girl) is a fun-loving socialite who frequents galas and modern art museums. She's hip in a quirky way. She may not even realize how cool she really is. She wears things because they are pretty and fun, and most importantly she wears clothing for herself. She couldn't care less what others thought about her eye-catching ballgowns of colorful tulle. She probably listens to old records and she has a Warhol in her living room. She's cool, but she doesn't care that she is.
Regardless, we all want to be her.
Ulyana Sergeenko is always good for some vintage Hollywood glamour. For Fall 2015 the theme was definitely starlets of the '30s and '40s, with luxurious silks and furs, long hemlines, and vintage accessories (caged veils, cat-eye sunglasses, and minaudieres) dominating the show.
What I love about Sergeenko's collections—as well as the general appeal of the fashions of the 1930s and '40s—is that they ooze sex appeal without being overly-revealing. There were plenty of plunging necklines and elements of intrigue, but even with this gorgeous dress and its sheer top, the skirt is so magnificent that the model hardly feels half-naked; the top is translucent but that isn't the point. These looks are sexy but they aren't overt, and it's something to appreciate in a time of miniskirts and crop tops. Rihanna is a fan of Sergeenko's designs. I can see her rocking these old-school glam looks with her signature edge.
The sixties really were all over Fall 2015 couture, and the Atelier Versace show did it in glorious style. With each model rocking a wavy, center-parted hairstyle adorned with a handmade fabric flower crown, this was the runway collection for the high-end music festival forest nymph. There's no doubt Donatella was feeling majorly inspired by Coachella and Woodstock, but there was a mythological etherealness as well, as if Versace were creating costumes for a modern-day version of A Midsummer Night's Dream (Titania would be alllll over these dresses).
I always appreciate Versace looks on the red carpet, but sometimes I find the brand's runway shows to be a little too severe, too sexy, too...well, too Versace. I really enjoyed this softer approach. These dresses really are beautiful.
Also, seriously, can you imagine if this was what Coachella fashion was actually like? That would be a dream come true!
While couture shows are typically shown in Paris, Valentino decided to do something a little different and took their runway show home to Rome for a truly unique presentation. Guests received tours of the Eternal City curated by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli themselves, with each stop featuring Valentino creations from couture shows past. Then came time for the show, which was set in the Piazza Mignanelli as the golden sun set. The clothes were primarily black, gold, and (of course) Valentino Red, but the simple color palette did not mean that the clothes themselves were simple.
There was plenty of lace, brocade, and embroidery, and the gold fabrics seemed to be coated with gold foil. Models wore jewels and crowns of gold, triumphant celebrations of the city of Rome. There were plentiful references to the city, from the gladiator sandals to the pleated skirt styles and the imperial diadems. The eagle was also heavily featured, being a symbol of Rome. The opening look was a dress with a neckline that resembled an eagle taking flight. Feathers featured prominently in the collection, and several necklaces featured eagle shapes.
The celebration of the rich history of Rome was on full display, of course, but I was also detecting hints of northern medieval influences. Was it just me, or did some of the looks (in particular the all-black ensembles) feel like they could be costumes in the upcoming film adaptation of Macbeth? There were definitely some dark, witchy vibes going on, but ultimately this was a collection about the splendors of Rome, and Chiuri and Piccioli wonderfully succeeded in celebrating the beloved home of Valentino. As the models made their final walk through the piazza, they were met with a full standing ovation from the crowd. You don't have to be that into fashion to know that this doesn't happen often (the fashion world is fickle and always vaguely disinterested in everything). But really, this was one of the best Valentino collections in years. Maybe they should always show couture in Rome!
(all runway images via style.com)