See more/Buy Now
Hollywood A List Parties

"There's an idea of inner happiness," Giambattista Valli told reporters backstage, his hair slicked like a Roman prince. "It's a happiness that's almost mystical, a sensation of colors and fabrics."

Happiness, however, would not be a word to describe the 70 or so international editors invited by the House, but left standing outside on the pavement. Even more startling: the sight of a bevy of manicured and jeweled ladies pounding on a steel door, invitations in hand, only to be barked at by security guards ("There's no room here for you"). The scene leads one to speculate on both the internal organization and the outward image being projected by Emanuel Ungaro Couture.

  Either the House can not count, or can not communicate, but the shabbiness of the episode contrasts with the immaculate finesse which traditionally surrounds the founder's name. Then again, Emanuel Ungaro is out of Ready-to-Wear entirely, having handed over the reigns to Valli two years ago.

Inside, the music rocked, as the young designer sent sorbet colors of georgette crêpe wafting down the runway. Then there were the flowers - roses and orchids applied to sheer tops. While Valli did not get trapped in follies of the past this season, judiciously avoiding leggings entirely; not all of it worked either. How many women would care to stroll to lunch in a fuchsia cocktail dress, asymmetrically draped, their left breast poking through? One floral print top with intricate details, bordered on garish when paired with lime green shorts resembling 60s-style hot pants.

  Valli said the fabrics and colors were inspired by a recent trip to Cambodia. Jacqueline Kennedy went there with RFK in 1966, the decade of love and flower power. If anything, their life stories prove the old saying correct: "happiness is a state of mind."