• went behind the scenes at Giambattista Valli’s atelier in Paris the night before his autumn/winter show.

    It is 6pm the night before Giambattista Valli is due to debut his autumn/winter 2012 collection at Paris Fashion Week. Behind the ornate wooden doors on the very chic Rue de Boissy d'Anglas, a very busy Valli is checking on the models, who are trying on each look one last time before the show.

    Valli lays out photos of every single look from the collection on the peachy carpet, pondering which outfit to send out first. He takes more snaps of the girls from different angles while his seamstress is busy pinning and tucking. Design assistants are on full alert waiting for instructions. The atelier is buzzing with energy and a hefty dose of adrenaline.

    ...the designs play with proportion and show off the designer’s fun and experimental approach.

    A model steps out in a belted floor-length red dress in chiffon lace, teamed with towering satin platforms and chunky heels. The look is signature Valli - retro 1970s glam with a touch of old-money sophistication- so it comes at no surprise when he decides to place it towards the end of the show. That being said, the rest of the collection is not quite what one would expect from the designer.

    Black and white plays a big part in the collection. The monotone colour is prominent in graphic prints on slouchy top and cropped trousers, the look is finished with a pair of flats so that the model can have their hands in the trousers pockets and glide through the room dashingly. It is perhaps Mr. Valli has become a couturier, his followers can opt for his exquisite haute couture collection for their formal outings, and therefore his ready-to-wear collection features more casual options for his clients although there is still plenty of high-voltage glamour. The gold mock-croc coat will surely become a new classic for the evening. The fur and chiffon pleated dress with lace bodice and thick tweed wool dress with chiffon drapes play with proportion, and show off the designer’s fun and experimental approach.

    The biggest surprise comes with the eye-popping black, red and white graphic prints. Block and chevron patterns cover structured tops with matching trousers or floor-length gown are the new head-to-toe statement looks of the season. Tweed wool in different check prints, jacquard with red and white colour blocking all collide together is another bold combination. This is a kaleidoscope burst of patterns and texture, all tied in with red, black and white colour scheme.

    Photos by Filep MotwaryInterview by Lucienne Leung