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If Bill Gaytten’s debut collection for Dior Couture was a disaster, consider Giambattista Valli’s first foray into fashion’s highest order a resounding success.

For a label whose history is so rich in opulence and creating dresses girls dream of, it’s hard to believe this is Valli’s first venture into haute couture, but his signature extravagance lends itself so well to the dramatic world of couture it really is a match made in heaven.

The result of his latest unveiling? A seamless continuation of Valli’s ready-to-wear offering, with floaty, feminine cocktail dresses flying down the runway to rapturous applause.

Laced with lady-like elegance, girls glided in soft chiffon capes, ruffled ball gown skirts, frilled cocoon jackets and indulgent tulle trains – delicate in places, but all dripping with decadence. His signature embellishment was present, naturally, in the form of feathers, crystal beading and sequins, and splashes of drama came courtesy of coral, red and animal print amidst an otherwise monochrome palette.

And while the critics were falling over themselves to praise his confident entrance on the couture circuit, one Anna Wintour rushed back stage to personally congratulate his achievement.

If this is his debut, we can’t wait to see what Valli does next.

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