Giambattista Valli Fall 2012 Couture Collection

Posted on July 11, 2012

We are ALL ABOUT fashion-as-fantasy. Don’t get us wrong; anyone who reads us for any length of time can tell we’re big proponents of dressing to your strengths and dressing appropriately for the venue, but we do so love it when fashion gets all aspirational on your ass. Even so, there are times while looking through this highly fantastic (in the original sense of the word) collection of looks that we feel like the plot got lost. Make a gown that reminds you of gardens, sure. But make a gown that makes the wearer look like a hedge? We’re having trouble with that one. There’s a lot of beauty and fantasy on display here, but some of the shapes and embellishments get to be too much for us. The textiles are stunning and the idea behind the collection is beautiful (gardens and water nymphs), but we think this one could have used some editing.



[Photo Credit: Getty]

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  • butterfly over mouth = Silence of the Lambs. There’s no way to unthink that.

    I seem to either REALLY LOVE or REALLY hate all of these. the last one is a little bit LOLarious. 

    • YES! Silence of the Lambs was my first thought, too!!!

    • Right with you, on every point. The “Silence” reference cannot be escaped. Though about half of these are lovely beyond description, they are perfectly balanced by the half that are overwrought, torturous messes.

    • rawrgrowlrawr

      I’m holding out hope that the last one can be saved. Tone the fuck out of that collar and it could be quite lovely. Or maybe I just love shrubbery. 

      •  it manages to make a tall, gorgeous girl look short and stubby and with no neck.

    • schadenfreudelicious

      “sorry Svetlana, you lost the draw so you’ll be the girl with the insect in her mouth”…..

    • MissAnnieRN

      Omg!!! That’s all I could think about when I was looking through this collection and it’s the first comment. The PUF’s have a psychic connection.

    •  YES.

      And…yeah. Totally squicked me out.

  • Sobaika

    Does a model have butterfly lips? That’s just a teeny bit creepy.

  • Okay the hedge gown made me laugh, but quite a few of these are stunning.

  • ghopping

    For some reason I hear Nina Garcia pursing her lips and saying, “you need to learn to edit.”

    • Derek_anny

       She looks ready to start laughing in that first picture.

  • Deac82

    Here’s to hoping that a lot of those “collars” are removable a la McQueen

  • I love some of those greens, and the coat dress in the first picture. When I saw the butterflies over the mouths I thought about Silence of the Lambs too. 

  • Maria Rosenfire

    Lovely, but a bit literal for my tastes. 

  • Just waiting to see a starlet (Emma Stone? Diane Kruger?) in the green and navy gown (the model has butterflies on her head). It is a gorgeous collection, but a bit froufy for my tastes.

  • MilaXX

    Hmmm, I’m a bout 50/50 on this. Some of these work and some don’t. Surprisingly enough my fav is the hedges with the purple flowers gown bottom row, right.

  • sashaychante

    They look like topiaries. 

    • Introspective

      can i just say that your disqus name is the greatest!!

    • This is the perfect collection for Poison Ivy (of the Batman franchise)

  • I kind of love the very first one — the red coatdress with pom-poms on it (or whatever they are).  But the rest look a little bit like stuff I would have sketched in home room.

  • Some of these really are a bridge too far, but pair the belt from the last dress with the tea length dress two rows before it and I’d never want to take it off.

  • fashionzombie

    The green gown with scattered purple flowers made me think of Daniel V’s garden-store dress. I looked it up just to be sure, and there is a similarity, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say it was copied. 

    On the other hand — that Giambattista Valli dress made me think of one made entirely out of plants.

  • The last dress would be really very lovely without the neck ruffle and the peplum…keep that little gold belt.  I think the only thing I like across the board is the use of prints..but other than that, edit people, edit

  • NurseEllen

    That red & green one SCREAMS Christmas, and not in a good way.  I do love the green & black one-shoulder, far left, 8th row down, although I could do without the butterfly head decoration.  In fact, all the butterflies are just plain creepy.

  • mhleta

    Yes, too much by half. You know when you’re driving through one of those McMansion neighborhoods were everyone got just a little too exuberant with the architectural details, and you think, “Yes, one of these houses set back on a hill overlooking an expanse of sea would be lovely, but all of them crammed together in a subdivision behind a Target is kind of killing the magic.” This is like that.

    • mayavaly

       Brilliant! Love.

  •   Stunning.  Textiles.

  • MzzPants

    I just can’t with the Silence of the Lambs lips.

    It will be interesting to see how this collection translates to the clothes wracks.

  • Introspective

    love is in the details of many of these pieces, which are absolutely incredible. when this collection got it right it was sooo right (red peplum dress with the butterfly lips, the other red dress with the deep v, or the second set of three green dresses abreast). when it got it wrong however, it was *really* wrong (xmas dress and the other hedge-y craziness). but indeed, even the ugly numbers show some thought and creativity.

  • I love the green prints.  So lush and beautiful.

    • lamamu

       I got lost in all the prints! Print often look cheap, especially in print, but these are exquisite. Not sure that the knockoffs that I’ll be able to afford will be quite this gorgeous

  • I don’t know.  I think they are all stunning.  For me, the only one that gets too close to the “actually looks like a hedge” line is the second to last one.  The butterflies were unnecessary, though.

  • Vlasta Bubinka

    Nothing says “water nymph” as much as styling from Silence of the Lambs.
    And I am so SICK of bottle washer skirts.

    I do really love those green prints, even though at times, all I could see was moss. Moss tits! Moss blossoms eating your face! Exploding moss crotch ruffles! Wackadoodle!

    • Exploding Moss Crotchruffles is my new band name. Dibs called!

      • Vlasta Bubinka

        I will buy your CD…

        • And you are SO getting back stage passes.

  • Bozhi

    I can see a lot of “modified versions” showing up on the RC.

  • GillianHolroyd

    my god, the prints and the colors are gorgeous. Breathtaking. 

    Looks like peplums and panniers are going to be with us for a while.

  • joe_tey83

    Some of those girls are wearing big red floral print sanitary pads. Like, “I’m a woman, watch me bleed.”

  • All of those ruffly collars, I am thinking of what Black Adder says to Percy Percy: “You look like a bird who’s swallowed a plate.”

  • The red netting on the models makes it look as if they have acne scars or very irritated skin. Some of the dresses are very lovely. I hope someone wears them on the red carpet.

  • Pennymac

    I love these ideas, but it seems to me that every single one of these dresses is wearing the model. Ginormous proportions do not flattering silhouettes make. And since when is Hannibal Lechter an appropriate stylist?

  • guest2visits

    O no they did NOT stuff their mouths’ with an insect… I don’t care if it’s a butterfly or a fish… sticking something over or in
    their mouth is just the most stupid, unimaginative and repulsive act I’ve seen perpetrated on these models.
    And then there’s the deathly make-up, and the hideous food coloring hair job.
    Toxic shades and moldy embellishments obliterate any style that may have once existed. 

  • altalinda

    I can picture these on society matrons.

  • Dhammadina

    From the garden poet, Marvell (well, from “To His Coy Mistress”):

    My vegetable love should grow
    Vaster than empires, and more slow

  • Zippypie

    I love the fabrics, but not the designs so much.  And I hate the Silence of the Lambs faces. *shudder*

  • theblondette

    I would LOVE to see Tilda Swinton in the just-below-the-knee slinky green.

  • LaylaSV

    It’s all a a bit sinister and aggressive for a garden-inspired collection.

  • Haute couture can be so lovely… I really find this to be fun!  

    It doesn’t have to be so literal- as we all know, when we see here is not what we will see on people later.

  • quiltrx

    The green floral with the white butterfly on the model’s mouth is my fave.

    Some of these just need one element removed to be great.  Others need yards of fabric removed. 🙂

  • ceceliadid

    It’s looks very wannabe McQueen to me, with the combination of obscured faces, weird ruffly volumes and the I’m a sea anemone or privet bush thing.  But McQueen makes it a whole consistent fantasy world (that moldy silver lace BELONGS on the model anemone heads) and here it’s just pieces.  The dull colors don’t help…

    • boweryboy

      I’ll take this over what Sarah Burton is doing for McQueen anyday. 

      Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the last space agey blonde fembot exploding sea anemone collection, she’s becoming a one trick pony.

  • what with the pale lipstick? it looks like they just escaped from the morgue. But the combination of ruby and dark green is beautiful. And the red butterly in the mouth looks like a Cartoon mouth from Peanuts, like someone is screaming. Nevertheless, some of it looks quite chic. 

  • ccm800

    “I’m a tree…I’m a happy tree…” 

  • boweryboy

    Too much frou frou-lery for me.

    The fabrics are lush.  The details are impeccable.  The overall looks are a bit too much.  I’m beginning to yearn for a bit of simplicity and minimalism in fashion again.  It’s like all the designers are thinking the more crap and frippery and frillery I pile on my designs, the better.

    And do I spy Ms. Nina Garcia in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th single large photos?

    And speaking of over the top, has anyone seen Thom Browne’s latest menswear collection?  Oof!  I must admit the presentation was pretty impressive.

  • holdmewhileimnaked

    it’s really too bad when he went over the line cos those under it? are some of the most beautiful pieces of formalwear to walk a runway in ages & ages. if theres any justice in fashion [no] this stuff will be edited & will show up that way on the variously colored carpets. justice or not, it most likely will & i’m curious to see what it’s gonna look like w/ its roots & branches trimmed way way back.

    • i also adored that third from the bottom, left, gown, as well as many of the green and multi-flowered prints, scaled back for the “real world.”  i beg to differ re: the butterfly on her head, however.  i thought it had possibilities as a fascinator.  perhaps someone will wear it to ascot next time.

  • MK03

    This makeup artist needs to be fired. 

  • afabulous50

    I’m not sure I like it or don’t like it.  It’s all very confusing.

  • ChaquitaPhilly

    Butterfly Lips? Or was it just a snack for the model!

  • michelle shields

    I know I”m late to this party but what the hell is up with the butterfly over the mouth?  This shit is just ugly!

  • The models might as well have been mannequins for all that I could see of them.  The Silence of the Lambs reference was creepy at best.  It would take a powerful bit of styling and a dramatic person to wear one of these and not be mistaken for a potted plant.

  • kimmeister

    But what the heck is on that model’s head?  I can’t figure it out.  Goggles?

  • Didn’t Galliano already do a “women as hedges” collection? I feel like I remember a Dior collection with pretty literal looking topiary dresses. 
    I like most of the dresses, but I can’t with that forest green and scarlet combo. Too Christmasy. 

  • Thundar99

    Is that miss Nina Garcia i see there taking it all in??? I miss that chick!  Be seeing her soon come the 19th though.  Joy!

  • kikisayshi

    I’m loving the floral dress 4 rows down, minus the ploofy foofy thing on top.


  • I like the green and red floral fabric. It’ll be interesting to see how these get pared down for normal people!

  • Renaissance_Man_ATL

    There are some beautiful pieces in the collection.   I can see the fabulous Fan Bing Bing wearing several of the pieces.  WERQ!