In the 10 years since Giambattista Valli has launched his eponymous couture line, he has become known for a few signatures: The fantastically frothy and feminine concoctions he sends down the runways, his ardent coterie of supporters (a mix of aristocrats and bold-name celebrities) and, more idiosyncratically, the pearl necklace he always wears around his neck. While his interviews may have been few and far between—he prefers to let his work do the talking—the fashion designer recently sat down with the Business of Fashion for a wide ranging talk about his decade-long career in the fashion industry. Here are five important nuggets of information about the designer that we gleaned from it.
On why he chose to base himself in Paris: “I proudly claim my Italian, or even better Roman origins—he states—It is in Italy that I produce my collections, and it is in this beautiful country that I keep my roots. Professionally, however, I chose Paris: here fashion is supported by an authentic cultural system, and making clothes is considered as an art.”
On his design philosophy: “I believe in a certain creative strictness, and aim at creating a distinctive silhouette. Silhouettes, in fact, are memorably piercing. Decoration, instead, is just a souvenir that fades away quickly.”
On his time at Ungaro: “Monsieur Ungaro gave me complete trust and absolute creative freedom, which led me very far. A Mario Sorrenti campaign starring Kirsten Owen and a German shepherd was deemed outré, while a series of couture images shot by Corinne Day came across as too punk and decadent. But it was fun.”
On taking chances: “I believe that the sense of daring lasts just for a short while: if you cross the gap at the right time, you keep it open for life, otherwise it closes behind you and you become fearful.”
On the ultimate Giambattista Valli woman: “I do not want to categorise my woman: I think she is more a mental disposition than a body shape. She is free and plays with fashion while keeping her distinctive personality. She is body-conscious and lives in harmony with herself. She is demanding and potentially always has a man at her side.”
Read the full interview at Business of Fashion.