Giambattista Valli’s Giamba collection is coming up on its first birthday, and the distinctions between it and his 10-year-old main line are coming into focus. Think of it this way: If GV is for the gala, then Giamba is for the after-party. “It’s pretty and at the same time there’s something kind of nasty about it, which I like,” Valli said, alluding to both the 1990s images of Corinne Day and to the British pop star FKA twigs.
Come November, when Resort clothes begin arriving in stores, customers will be able to pick up printed jeans in skinny and flared styles, animal-print cropped tees and sweatshirt tunics, and even holey denim cutoffs with the Giamba tag inside. With so much of that kind of thing already out there at prices high and low, Valli’s interpretations couldn’t help but err on the banal side. The collection was much more convincing when it hewed closer to his familiar, feminine signatures: the ruffles, the florals, little party frocks. Short dresses printed with smiling lips and ladybugs had edge, but not so much as to be alienating, and another little number in a cherry jacquard trimmed with silk fringe was provocative in exactly the right proportion.