The job of Ungaro designer Giambattista Valli is to translate the richly exotic vision of his mentor, house founder Emanuel Ungaro, onto the ready-to-wear runway. Ungaro himself still designs the house's couture line where he explores his Parisian passion for femininity, luxe and the eclectic riches of the Orient and Africa. Valli's special knack, meanwhile, is for building a bridge between the sensibility of the house's older customer, and a hipper attitude that speaks to today's generation.
In his second collection for the company, Valli filtered Ungaro's north African, Chinese and hippie-deluxe romanticism into street-wearable shearlings inspired by djellabas, delicate printed chiffon floor-length caftan dresses and chinoiserie coats without skipping the all-important edge of embellishment. Where he best reached out to a younger audience though was in a treasure-trove of accessories that cried, "Hunt me now!" Stack-heeled, crumple-down suede boots, huge woven leather shoulder bags loaded with swishing fringe, silk rope and tassels, necklaces strung together from chunks of coral, beaten silver hearts slung on raw leather thongsall are up there on the trophy-hunter's list for fall.