Giambattista Valli said his new collection was inspired by memories—the mental souvenirs of his globe-trotting clientele as they pond-skimmed from place to ever-more-fabulous place. So there was an echo of Hydra in a white dress with silver-dipped pleats. There were also the gilded sheen of Rajasthan, some safari-influenced animal print, the florals of an English country house, a Greek flokati rug reconfigured as a fluffy sheepskin waistcoat, snake bracelets, and python heels. All of it was layered like memories and distilled by Valli's alta moda sensibility into one harmonious whole. He claimed he'd approached the actual design part with as much deliberation as if he was designing a piece of furniture. Which meant the boxy structure came first. OK, you could see that in the silhouette, but the immediate impression given by the clothes was nothing so serious. Instead, it was Valli's kooky couture zest that was communicated by a marabou-trimmed cage of daisy cutouts, a sheer white tunic trimmed in lamé, and the shift that traveled from sequined yoke to zebra-print midriff to a skirt of silk fringe, also in zebra print.

The Valli girls are famously mobile, and they don't really want to be lugging trunks of stuff around with them, so Giamba's specialty is high-octane one-offs. You could imagine a sleeveless brocade jumpsuit going anywhere in his world. Or a waistcoat of tribal-printed silk fringe adding that extra something to a T-shirt and jeans. Valli said he was trying to make clothes men would want to eat. (It's the Roman in him that is utterly unrepentant about animal attraction.) The sugar rush from these outfits would be more than a man could bear. But you could certainly picture him dying trying.