"This is the thing I am really proud of," said an uncharacteristically shy Giambattista Valli as he showed us his smartphone and clicked on two images: the first of Amal Alamuddin in a bold, flower-patterned dress stepping out of a Venetian gondola with her husband of one day, George Clooney; the second of Cate Blanchett at the Zurich Film Festival in a white shirt and floral skirt.
Both were from Valli couture.
Giambattista has worked so hard to build a three-tier business. The latest was the youthful “Giamba” line he launched this month in Milan.
The Spring/Summer 2015 ready-to-wear, which the designer called “more conceptual and industrial”, was intriguing because almost every outfit – from a dress with outsize leaf applications to a guipure lace dress – had a three-dimensional effect.
This look even applied to the runway, which had different textures of carpet, some shaven, another fluffy.
Backstage, Valli talked about the concept of “art and craft”, showing a brightly coloured pair of trousers that were woven in macramé.
On the runway, a dress might be long and white but the skirt woven to an intricate surface, or have a cascade of cherry blossom on a slithery satin surface.
This almost 3D impression gave the collection not just an extra level of decoration, but also of emotion.