PARIS (Reuters) – Giambattista Valli paid homage to the innate style and apparently effortless chic of the emblematic Parisian woman at his fashion show in the French capital on Monday, as the Italian designer celebrated his 15 years in the business.
Valli, who lives in the city, said he was inspired by every day looks around him. He also turned to references such as the black and white pictures of 20th century photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and the late French actress known as Arletty.
The collection included little black dresses, black and white suits, pink chiffon nightgown-style dresses decorated with flowers and ostrich feathers – staples of “la Parisienne’s” wardrobe.
“I wanted to share the vision of the girl that I’ve seen these last 20 years that I’ve been living in Paris,” Valli told Reuters after the show. “This boyish attitude, independent, unique and at the same time very seductive, very free.”
“La Parisienne can go out without make-up, without tights, wearing her boyfriend’s loafers – she’s very free,” Valli added saying every look in the show was meant to embody different Parisian personalities.
Italian model Bianca Brandolini, American designer Rick Owens and François-Henri Pinault, head of the Kering conglomerate as well as the Artemis group that owns the Valli brand, were among the guests at the Paris decorative arts museum.
French model Ines de la Fressange, who long walked the runway for Chanel and is known as a reference for French style, said slouchy evening trousers, embroidered with flowers motifs and sequins, were among her favorite looks.
“It’s elegant, there’s a link to the past that I really like,” she said of the show.
Born in Rome 53 years ago, Giambattista Valli worked for Ungaro from 1998 to 2004, then launched his own label in 2005.
Last autumn, he became one of the latest designers to create a collection in collaboration with high street chain H&M, which featured takes on the puffy, tulle dresses that have made him a red carpet hit.
Paris Fashion Week, the last leg of the month-long catwalk season which began in New York before moving to London and Milan, ends on Tuesday.
(This story corrects Valli ownership in par 6)
Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Editing by Sarah White and Lisa Shumaker