"There are no real rules anymore, and I wanted to express that in my collection," said Giambattista Valli on the phone from Paris, where he's busy with fittings for his first-ever haute couture show. His winning Resort lineup, even more than his Fall outing, is about mixing patterns, mixing colors (the richer and more saturated the better), and mixing cultures. That means an outfit could consist of a mint green tweed jacket, a poppy-print peasant blouse, leopard-print pants, and jeweled chain-link flats, and that a single cropped-at-the-waist jacket combined a tribal tweed, leopard print, crystal beads, and feathers. On the other hand, one of the most charming looks was a simple sleeveless shift in a macramé photo print. Resort is also about mixing up the clock for Valli. He pictures his girl in a floor-scraping, flowy skirt and matching nylon jacket for day, and a three-piece pantsuit for night.

Evening here was a shade or two less grand that what we've come to expect on Valli's runways, but there was still plenty of pop in an ocher one-shoulder number with a violet grosgrain belt, worn with an electric orange jacket tossed over the shoulder. And it's too bad that A-listers, for the most part, are afraid of prints on the red carpet, because there was a fun watercolor floral in geranium red and grape. But back to grand. We expect we'll be seeing some of that at Valli's July 4 made-to-measure presentation. "There's a big space for haute couture in the market now," said the designer. (With pals like Eugenie Niarchos, Bianca Brandolini d'Adda, and Dasha Zhukova, he would know.) "You'll see my knowledge, and the rituals of doing couture from the past, melted together with something new."