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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

#SuzyPFW: Giambattista Valli — Sweet Bird of Youth

6 Октября 2015


How cute she is, the Valli girl, in her short skirt and fancy top as she strides out onto the pink and grey carpet in her gladiator sandals with sparkly, crystal soles.

Haven't we seen her somewhere before with her daintily decorated clothes and girly prettiness? Was it in the summer that she was dressed in a similar way but with intense embellishment? She had walked the same room but a different set of carpets at Paris haute couture.

Or what about her more juvenile appearance in Milan, in 'kids of' clothes for generous mothers to purchase? That is the Giamba line.


It is a smart idea for a designer to gather loyal customers from a young age. But all the Giambattista Valli collections seem to be melding in my mind. This season's ready-to-wear was mostly short and quite cute, even when it segued into longer hemlines.

From the beginning, out came a jacquard or brocade top — hard to tell from the distances the models walked across a large, square runway. Below the waist was the short A-line skirt, and that same upturned triangle silhouette was repeated with chiffon dresses, intense prints and embroidery. A scoop-front bodice was especially charming.


Sometimes the focus was on the lower half, when a white shirt was tucked into a patterned velvet skirt. Or there might be a few flower stems embroidered on a white dress. Occasionally a pair of narrow trousers entered the equation.

The decoration was subtle and beautifully realised, but always with the sensibility of Marcel Proust's vision of "jeunes filles en fleur" (young women blossoming).


Is this fledgling creature really the target for Giambattista's main line? We know that hemlines can be lowered — even if it is harder to drop down girly, high waists. And designers must be tempted to capture the sweet bird of youth, especially in a canary-yellow chiffon dress hung from a tiny sparkling bra.

But there was little in this collection, even among floral evening dresses, to make a girl raid mama's closet. It would be rather the other way around.


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