Giambattista Valli, the celebrated Italian designer, was recently bestowed with the esteemed Chevalier des Arts et Lettres award by France’s Ministry of Culture. In response, he unveiled a stunning runway presentation in Paris, drawing inspiration from a «Grand Tour of Europe» tailored for the new generation. Valli, a Roman who has called Paris his creative home for the past three decades, delivered an exquisite collection that exuded charm and brilliance.

Channeling the 18th-century notion of travel as a pathway to enlightenment, Valli’s models embarked on a sartorial journey through iconic cultures and cities. The runway, set within the splendid Pavillon Vendôme, saw the presence of renowned fashion figures, including Olivia Palermo, Anna dello Russo, and Giovanna Battaglia.

The show’s zenith was reached with the Empire waist chiffon dresses adorned with the season’s most exquisite prints—subtle architectural motifs seamlessly blended with symmetrical artistry. While Valli’s signature lace panel dresses received a contemporary twist, black chiffon gowns and impeccably tailored oversized gray flannel pieces added versatility to the collection. Off-the-shoulder ensembles with lace bras peering through and suggestive dentelle cocktail dresses with exposed undergarments made bold statements.

However, the pièce de résistance was the captivating prints—a fusion of architectural intricacies, historical landmarks, classical urban panoramas, trompe l’oeil frescoes, and Ancient World sketches. Valli described this as «a grand tour of Florence, Rome, Naples, Taormina, Athens, and Istanbul—a Mediterranean odyssey for a new generation.»

Following the show, Giambattista Valli was honored with the Chevalier des Arts et Lettres, becoming part of an illustrious group of Italian designers that includes Valentino Garavani, Giorgio Armani, and Maria Grazia Chiuri. Valli’s haute couture house, known for its innovative and remarkable creations, has made an indelible mark on the world of fashion.

Expressing his gratitude for the award, Valli lauded France’s commitment to freedom of expression, deeming it a dream come true.

Meanwhile, in another corner of Paris, the highly regarded Harris Reed, an American residing in London, unveiled his second show for Nina Ricci. Reed showcased immense talent and a profound understanding of fashion and culture. The collection radiated refinement, a testament to the transformative influence of Paris. Despite an abundance of oversized designs, tuxedos with substantial lapels, and extravagant bows, Reed’s ability to craft captivating visual narratives remained evident. Standout pieces included seafoam green pantsuits paired with matching bras and oversized flared pants, as well as a striking gown featuring a black leotard and two voluminous white crinoline sides—a fusion of avant-garde aesthetics reminiscent of Marie Antoinette meets Monsieur Tweed.

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