Giambattista Valli Haute Couture Fall Winter 2023/24

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Giambattista Valli’s roster of muses has always included an array of notable figures, including young European royals like Charlotte Casiraghi.

However, for his latest collection, the esteemed designer found inspiration in the style icon of a bygone era, Josephine de Beauharnais, who was famously married to Napoleon Bonaparte for a brief period. With Ridley Scott’s upcoming biopic on the infamous 19th-century emperor and empress, their tumultuous love story is set to be rediscovered, making it the perfect backdrop for Valli’s nostalgic vision.

Throughout the collection, Valli paid tribute to Beauharnais’s exquisite wardrobe. Embroidered vests were layered over minimalist flared jumpsuits in pristine white or tucked under oversized tweed jackets adorned with sequin trim. One of the standout pieces was an ankle-length frock coat showcasing a masterful use of tweed, displaying Valli’s meticulous tailoring.

In a departure from his usual focus on womenswear, Valli introduced menswear to his lineup. Knit ribbed rompers reminiscent of Harry Styles’s personal style made an appearance, as well as a long semi-sheer tunic embellished with strands of gold sequins. Valli’s reputation for creating whimsical eveningwear remains intact, and he continues to dress a host of celebrities for red-carpet events. Among the front-row attendees, Ciara turned heads in a new-season polka dot sheer dress.

Surprisingly, it was the more down-to-earth looks that captured the attention of this collection. The marabou feather-studded cropped white jeans, when paired with practical moto boots instead of vertiginous heels, brought a modern sense of ease to the more traditional cocktail-hour ensembles.

Valli’s exploration of historical references is in line with the broader fashion trend this season, with nods to the wasp-waisted silhouettes of the 1950s and the power shoulders of the 1980s making appearances across various collections. However, his distinct vision, inspired by the timeless elegance of Josephine de Beauharnais, sets his collection apart and creates a captivating sense of nostalgia.