The fantasy of nature
After his first couture season for Autumn/Winter 11, Giambattista Valli was awarded appellation by the Fédération Française de la Couture, the official body dedicated to preserving and maintaining the art. Haute Couture is a protected term in the same way that champagne is, and strict criteria must be met to even apply for it – from the amount of work carried out by hand, number of pieces produced and the size of a house's workforce. Romantic Italian designer Valli, whose fans include Carine Roitfeld, has quickly honed his previous ready-to-wear philosophy to that of bespoke dressmaking. This season he swapped a classic, muted colour palette for the drama of scarlet and emerald, in a collection of ruffles and florals, a nature story of dream and fantasy.