After his debut in 2005, Giambattista Valli’s eponymous line quickly found celebrity and socialite followers. The Italian designer, whose shows take place in Paris, excels at making high-drama dresses with experimental volumes and proportions. Feminine details in the form of ruffles and bows work to balance out the sharp architectural lines, and they’ve helped bring his evening outfits to plenty of red carpets.
“I’m always looking for new ways to interpret elegance, but they’re not always easy to find. Real elegance has something that is hidden.”
Valli’s headquarters are located in a 16th-century hôtel de ville that once belonged to another Giambattista: Jean-Baptiste Lully, the baroque musician from Florence who was Louis XIV’s court composer. Nowadays, the town house reflects Valli’s powerful mix of tradition and modernity. On the boutique’s ground floor, stone walls and early modern furniture from the designer’s own collection showcase prêt-a-porter, bags, shoes, and Luigi Scialanga, Valli’s long-standing collaborator’s spectacular jewelry. Upstairs, a single couture gown is spotlit in each of the rooms and ateliers lined with museum-quality boiserie.