October 01, 2008 Paris
Granted, this season the volumes were less overblown than usual, tempered (at least to begin with) by the influence of Cristobal Balenciaga in raised-waist sack dresses, ovi-form tops, and molded capes. More persistent, though, and shown in many fabric options—from faded and flaking wallpaper prints to guipure lace and hopsack—were fifties-style dance dresses, neat to the waist and flaring out into teacup circle skirts held up by stiff layers of petticoat. Valli attributed that to wanting to make his silhouettes correspond faithfully to his sketches. "But in reality," he noted, "you can take off the petticoat, and it's just a nice godet skirt." Perhaps if he'd shown some that way, it might have injected the sense of modernity the collection ultimately lacked.