Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2015-2016.
Being a true Eccentric with a real contrarian streak and a penchant for the grandiose statement, channeling Peggy Guggenheim seems like a natural fit for the eclectic sensibilities of Giambattista Valli. Name checking the outsize clothing persona of Guggenheim and cross-pollinating that with the likes of Talitha Getty, however, makes for some, admittedly, strangely odd bedfellows, Fashion-wise that is. Getty's hedonistic bohemian with Guggenheim's richesse and arty eccentricity don't jive on paper, but in Valli's hands, well... the indubitably strange brew coalesced into something, if not fully convincing in it's early moments, absolutely Spellbinding, by it's magisterial conclusion.
Opening with, in an effort to be polite, i'll be tactful, frankly dumbfounding stiff concoctions of bristly layers and ruffles of Tulle, Valli's Fall/Winter 2015-2016 Haute Couture collection started off problematic, at best. Then out came the Ostrich Feathers and shaggy Mongolian Lamb Fur and Organza petaled ruffles. To say it was a case of Too much of Too Much, would be a gross understatement, which is saying quite a lot, once one was subjected to the mountainous clouds of fabric that ended the proceedings. Also, Valli seemed to be suffering from a slightly major case of Schizophrenia when it came to hemlines, from Go-Go dancer short to respectably ankle length, giving a whiff of the discombobulated to the first 1/3 or so of the show.
When the drapeè gowns appeared, we were now on solid ground and were traveling towards Fashion Mecca. The PearYellow version was of particular exquisiteness, while the Black warp print Lily-Of-The-Valley gown slung over one shoulder and curved across the sternum was a Masterpiece of excess! Yet, it was the finale procession of positively titanic behemoths of ruffled tulle that were the colloquial Cherry on the Sundae. It's not really within the scope of the mind to imagine how these colossal barges of Silk translate into the fabric of the modern world, but when they are as achingly and heart quickeningly sublime as these Amazements are, who really gives a shit! They are so Magical and Fantastical that they defy all quantification!
Valli summoned up the spirits of two iconic fashion deities in the pantheon of style and blended them into a phantasmagoria of nonconformity and eclectic brilliance. It took a mind only as clever and oddball as Valli's to conjure up something as this, in less individualistic hands and a mind less agile, it would have been something of a confusing disaster of monumental proportions, Thankfully, Valli handled it with virtuoso aplomb and finesse.