Paris girl meets Manhattan boy. It sounds like a movie. In fact, it was the starting point for Giambattista Valli
's pre-fall collection. French femininity is Valli's stock in trade, but in keeping with the new direction he established on his Spring runway, he's pushing into more masculine territory. The world just keeps getting more casual. Valli could try to fight it, but what would be the point of that? Embracing it is the way forward, so the lineup on view today included classics like peacoats and Wall Street gray flannels, as well as dressed-up jogging pants and fancy T-shirts with long tails. Valli proved particularly adept at outerwear; everything from a cropped parka lined in fur to a collarless cardigan coat was reversible, which means his customers' dollars go further. (In addition to becoming more casual, it would seem, women are also becoming savvier shoppers.) For all the attention he lavished on daywear this season, there were still a few after-dark stunners. A sleeveless column with poppies and ranunculus blossoming all over it struck the dressed-up yet not-too-serious note of the SAG Awards at the end of the month.