Giambattista Valli SPRING 2022 READY-TO-WEAR

This lush show with its pastel milkshake colors and signature frills was a two-for-one offer. Guests had time to roam the whitewashed rooms of the Musée d’Art Moderne and take in works by Matisse, de Chirico, Dufy, and other 20th-century talents before the first model hit the runway — and that’s just what Giambattista Valli wanted.

“Life is beautiful — let’s enjoy it. Beauty was my escape during the lockdown. It was a window for my soul,” said the designer, adding that he chose to show at the museum so that guests could examine and enjoy his creations close-up as if they were works of art.

Valli wasn’t just thinking about visual beauty either — he wanted his designs to be tactile, too, “with clothes that caress, and embrace,” and drew on the color palette and mood of Louise Bourgeois’ rounded, sensual sculptures.

The result was a lineup of unmistakable Valli creations, short dresses and skirts with Swiss dot embroidery and bouncing ruffles at the front, Empire waist designs edged in gold, and miles of white lace shaped into long dresses.

Valli spent much of his lockdown time starting at gardens and greenery so it’s no wonder some prints and embroideries resembled Monet’s Water Lilies. They covered a tiered, off-the-shoulder dress, and full skirts paired with halter or cutout tops.

Those verdant patterns gave way to other pastels, mint, melon, or strawberry milkshake pink on more flourishes of lace and flounce. It was life imitating art in the sweetest way.