My Pussy Is Out For Jesus at the Coronavirus Prom

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It’s couture week, a time when people like me sit at our silly little computers and write about clothes we will never wear. Today’s object of fixation is Giambattista Valli’s latest collection, courtesy of a designer who still boasts of desperate clients in China and Dubai and across European coastlines, despite the drought of parties that require ballgowns.

For quite a few seasons now, the house has drowned in taffeta and chiffon, materials that have become staples of awards circuits, courtesy of Valli himself and competitor Valentino. But where previous seasons swam in their delicate, midcentury princess silhouettes, Valli might have finally returned to his roots: coked-up ‘80s prom goers with a penchant for exposing their pussies.

In notes for the show, Valli cited 1960s hairstyles. That’s fine, the now-dry well of inspiration certainly shows in the silhouettes, which look ripped from late-Golden Age musicals—“Think Pink” from Funny Face comes immediately to mind.

But buried beneath the ruffles are hints of Valli’s past life as a designer for the rich kid coke fiends that trawled charity nightlife throughout the early decade. His Spring 2019 Couture show hinted at a return, just before Valentino’s end-of-decade taffeta edict came down from the Parisian high courts. Valli plumbed his archive and gave new life to his now-legendary Fall 2012 collection, which inarguably cemented his status as the next big French couturier.

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I still dream of Look 20.

Wading through the sea of rustling fabrics, I found my way to a specific pink number, in which Valli had installed a fantastic pussy window. The bodice was stitched up the sides as they did in the ‘80s, a bunched-up look that eventually spawned the late-aughts “bandage dress,” as seen on Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton each night at PURE Nightclub.

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It is a perfect dress.

Where Valli’s prior looks in the collection trafficked in the same tiered and draped silhouette, where layers upon layers of delicate chiffon stacked taller than the beehive hair-dos, Look 21 is obviously “constructed.” All dresses are, but that human handiwork is more obvious here, with architectural ruffles elegantly framing the neckline, and a difficult-to-achieve skirt section, where those same ruffles flow effortlessly into a simple, modest train. I would have rather he skipped the face-flowers, but who am I to deny a couturier their simple pleasures.

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What really floored me, though, was the stark realization that this might be the first time a Valli Customer has felt airflow to their vagina in years. Most dresses drown out pussy area in layers upon layers of fabric, so it must be quite a change to feel the wind on bare skin again. It’s also perfect for dancing, as the legs have some forward maneuverability, even if the train must be managed by a team of publicists and assistants.

Valli joked to Vogue that his couture clients still buy dresses from him, even in a pandemic, which I believe. When parties happen again, I’m sure they will wear these free-flowing creations. But not all pussy windows are created equal. Valli, in this transitional period, has made a few stumbles. Look 20, for instance, could have done without the hybrid cape and train. Sad, too, because the bulky shoulder bows and craft-store plastic flowers are very nearly perfect.

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Look 23, the lookbook’s final moment, also felt like a massive missed opportunity. It’s the exact same dress if it isn’t obvious, but the cape has been traded for the approximation of a rich lady nightgown. Snooze! Imagine if the taffeta from the hot pink dress had been used to construct this instead. It would have gone down as the most ridiculously silly dress in fashion history, and I would have ardently lectured future generations of its significance for decades to come.

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Instead, Valli did this. That’s OK, maybe. From the looks of it, he’s headed in the right direction.

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DISCUSSION

katiekeys
katie_keys

If you’re covering fashion and say “pussy window” I imagine something like the clear facemask, only over the pussy area

These are merely short skirts. I’m sure you’re correct about the airflow but the overall impression is not as expected.