Back in May when the news broke that Giambattista Valli would debut a couture collection, we were concerned. Leading brands like Christian Lacroix have struggled to produce haute couture shows and with the ongoing effect of the global economic crisis, less elite consumers are able to afford the heavy price tag that comes with a custom piece. But after yesterday's show, we know that Valli has nothing to worry about.
Although his past RTW collections have had couture-like qualities, this was the designer's first official foray into haute couture and you would not have known. Despite his relative inexperience, he produced a confident collection of beautiful daywear and exquisite eveningwear. Coral red coloured peplum cropped sleeved jackets were teamed with maxi skirts in the same hue and statement evening skirt suit came adorned with black feathers and crystal embroidery.
Immediately after the show Anna Winour went backstage to be amongst the first to congratulate Valli. If that wasn't proof of a success story, we don't know what is.
When it comes to haute couture, the first brand that springs to mind is Christian Dior, but unfortunately the brand did not live up to their reputation yesterday. The collection marked the first time in 15 years that John Galliano was not at the brand's helm and it showed.
Although the venue and customers on the front row were the same, the first look - a multicoloured cape with one rose on the shoulder teamed with a black and white jacket and full bodied skirt - was a significant step in a different direction. Eighties pop art and colour was everywhere appearing on cropped jackets and dresses in organza that lacked the refinement that you would expect from a Dior couture show. The rose motif on the first look appeared throughout inspired by the work of art directors like Jean Paul Goude and Italian architect, Ettore Sottsass.