Buro 24/7 Exclusive: visiting Giambattista Valli during Haute Couture Spring/Summer 14
Interview with the designer in his studio
What inspired your Haute Couture show?
I wanted to create a completely timeless collection that fit women of all ages. My clients range from adult women to girls in their twenties, and for me it is important to keep the collections youth and fresh in terms of spirit. I was inspired by Parisian women who possess a special sensual attitude towards clothes - on the one hand, a little picky and nervous, but on the other - always willing to experiment. It is important to me that couture clothes that are easy to wear and put on - just as easily how to wrap yourself in a towel coming out of the bathroom. Simply wrap the dress you, fasten the zipper - and you are ready to leave the house! Using this spontaneous mood and ease I added decorative elements, embroidery and bright colours - and gave birth to my collection.
Haute Couture looks a lot more wearable this season, take Chanel's use of trainers for example. How do you feel about that?
I think it's good - it should become a little easier. Women have become independent, and the clothes should reflect these changes. When I work on Haute Couture, as before, I use knowledge, heritage and vintage couture techniques, but use them to create wearable and affordable things. It is important for me to see these how the clients wear my collections and what they combine them with - because every woman has their own unique style, and the same dress can be worn quite differently.
How can a woman look luxurious without the budget for Haute Couture?
I think the ability to combine colours is especially important. In any case, regardless of whether a woman wears designer clothes or not, is always more important the way that she presents herself. As fashion for every woman - is just one of a myriad of methods for expression.
The line between Haute Couture collections and pret-a-porter is now quite thin. Do you feel it when you are working on the collections?
For me fashion is a way to send messages, and my message is obvious. No black and white, I only mix different colours, textures, and use dresses as statements. I am faithful to their style, but Haute Couture and pret-a-porter for me will always be two different worlds.
The collection was so colourful. Are you really so optimistic when it comes to fashion?
I want to be honest with my clients. In their special moments they do not want to look like serious women or widows brides - I aim to give a girl, picking up my dress, the opportunity to feel special and stand out from the rest.
You dress a lot of movie stars and celebrities. Do you consider the red carpet when working on your Haute Couture collection?
Oh no, never! I never think about which celebrities will wear my dresses - I have no purpose to please the celebrities in terms of red carpets. The latest stars, who wore Valli, were Rihanna at the Grammy Awards two years ago and Diane Kruger in Cannes.