By January, the yearning for warm weather, sweet-smelling flowers and picnics in the park nears desperation. Transitioning from drab and dreary coats to airy, warm silhouettes makes a sunnier season even more appealing; the perfect spring capsule wardrobe could be happily plucked from Italian designer Giambattista Valli’s spring 2022 ready-to-wear collection.
In the backdrop of massive white walls sprinkled with gold-framed art, the Musée d’Art Moderne de Paris delicately accentuated the clothing’s feminine appearance. Inspired by romanticism, Valli, as described by Vogue, “answers the princess dreams many kids have had for centuries.” The collection mixes Gen Z trends, including tiny hems, cut-outs and off-the-shoulder styles, alongside classic and posh floral prints and volumizing ruffles.
The first look – an off-the-shoulder white dress with ruffled tulle and a cinched waist, jeweled gladiator sandals and earrings, a bold lip and matching sunglasses — encapsulated the balance of opulence and liveliness showcased in the show’s remaining looks. Off-the-shoulder tops and dresses were prominent within the collection’s 62 looks, potentially instigating a comeback of a trend once deemed tacky and out of style. Valli reinvented the wheel through recycling and elevating once-adored styles into something new and fresh — similar to that of the current fashion cycle and the resurgence of old trends.
Throughout the show, Valli accentuated the models with accessories such as colorful cat-eye sunglasses, large jewels, straw bags and hair ribbons. While these additions were seemingly mundane details, they brought the heightened elegance of the pieces down to a realistic and wearable street style.
Valli’s collection of looks, one after the next, radiated grandiose and exceptional craftsmanship. Channeling a more modern take on Chanel’s signature tweed looks, the designer paired a cropped tweed blazer with a mini skirt crafted with a pearl accent slit over a barely there bodysuit. Valli balanced the textures of tweed alongside other spring patterns such as floral print, tulle, feathers and ruffles. For example, one of his looks was a baby pink matching set with botanical details; another look utilized a cropped top with scalloped hems and a long maxi skirt with a similar pattern. These prints, textures and colors were consistently used throughout the show in various ways, ultimately creating a cohesive lookbook.
The beloved “The Devil Wears Prada” character Miranda Priestly once said, “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.” Valli’s collection usurps this easy quip made about spring collections. The natural patterns on the clothing appeared far from stereotypical floral print and instead captured dainty, small and pink feminine florals that furthered themes of extravagant and powerful femininity.
The most stunning looks of the show were, surprisingly, the most minimal. Lacking prints or texture, these looks included spaghetti-strap-style dresses with high waistlines and clashing asymmetrical lines across the bodice. For example, one piece was a mini dress that had the illusion of being a red crop top. A horizontal line of pink ran across the bodice, and a matching pink color continued through the rest of the dress. The simplistic line work and matching colors provided a futuristic look while still remaining faithful to the collection’s daintiness and softness.The dress could be perfectly reimagined in an Instagram photo of Kendall Jenner or Elsa Hosk and then later duped by a fast fashion company for affordability for the masses.
The most awkward looks of the capsule were thankfully limited to two — each a green leafy print that was serving St. Patrick’s Day and appeared more like pajamas than actual clothing. The first piece was a long-sleeved collared dress with gold buttons that could function as a nightgown. The second look reincarnated this dress in the form of a pantsuit that could be displayed in a Talbots. Regardless, the two pieces could not rain on the parade of Valli’s 60 other, more fabulous designs.
Giambattista Valli’s spring 2022 ready-to-wear collection sets the dress code for any event this spring season — it’s flirty, poised fun that innovates a classical feminine style without sacrificing its youth.