Giambattista Valli Paris Couture: The Volume Trend Prevails, Dresses Like Topiaries

UPDATED: Paris couture continues with Dior French "New Look" volumized chic, Versace see-through filminess, and now, voluminous gem-tone florals that are almost 3D.

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The fall couture shows, currently being held in Paris this week, reflect what fashionistas will be wearing on red carpets at the Venice Film Festival and during fall awards season. Looks shown this week will also affect spring ready-to-wear eveningwear, shown in September and October, and all eveningwear trends this coming season.

So what have we seen? For Dior, Raf Simons did a lot of colors mixed with black -- reds, pinks, blues -- with a return of volume, peplums and full skirts, mostly in solids, with some florals. Versace did colorful prints and textures in airy, barely-there fabrics. Now, Giambattista Valli has gone full-force into volume with dresses and gowns featuring so much density, they look like the fabric version of topiaries.

They're great and picturesque on a runway -- but who can actually wear one of these floral dresses that appear to have wreaths of fabric at the neck, hips or hem? Our guess: very slender ladies who love fashion, like Diane Kruger, who wore a Valli couture gown for opening night at Cannes, or Keira Knightley. These dresses are serious statements.

The real trend that will carry on here, though, is this: volume does seem to be back. While the fall ready-to-wear clothes all look very stark and close to the body, it's looking like designers want to see fuller skirts, fuller coats (with belts), and evening dresses with mermaid hems or large neck detail, even exaggerated hips, as the next big fashion thing.

These gemstone colored dresses -- ruby, emerald, and deep green with black -- are great statements of feathers, embellishment and ornamentation, but how deeply they will make inroads into Hollywood is anyone's guess. We don't see Angelina Jolie going in this direction. 

What do you think?

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