When Jennifer Lawrence jokingly said she didn’t know what haute couture meant at the Golden Globes, far too much of the population probably shook their heads in agreement. Oh, how I wish I could show each one of them Giambattista Valli’s Couture Spring 2013 line to differentiate between haute couture and ready-to-wear.
Let’s look at the peplum first. RTW adds a tiny peplum to a skirt or a shirt. It’s cute and very wearable and fairly understated. When Valli does his take on the peplum, he actually builds it into the skirt or a dress—a mini hoop skirt and corset combo done in a way that doesn’t scream Gone with the Wind.
This exaggeration in design is probably the most visually noticeable, but look more closely and you’ll see the detail. And oh the detail Valli does. His tailoring is splendid, lines gorgeous, and vision exceptional. Melding Elizabethan shapes with a 1960s feel, the corset work and design begs to be worn. The collection started with a very neutral palate of blacks and whites with some patterned fabrics but finished with chartreuses, lilacs, and divine details. Flowers that popped away from the fabric and glittery shapes that remained in the utmost of taste.
The variety of the line too is worthy of a mention. Tea length dresses to full-on gowns roamed the runway all cinching in the waists like woah and highlighting ones femininity with exaggerated hips. Wanted a shorter length? Oh, try the high-low hemlines and mini dresses. Or if you’re really daring, try the jumpsuit with corseted top and a train. The intricate design of the jumpsuit makes it pure magic rather than catastrophe. There’s a reason why Valli is called haute couture without having to wait the typical five years for the appellation, and this collection showcases that reason to a tee.