Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaola Piccioli truly know how to thrill and win over the cognoscenti. The duo has yet again created a fantastical collection, yet this time with an unexpected turn in direction. Ever-pushing the frontiers of creativity, Valentino put an emphasis on day wear for the first time for their couture show, not unlike their counterparts this season. After all, couture is not only for ceremonies and stiff soirees.
Needless to say, set design has been a heavy influence in their pieces, particularly since they started frequenting the opera in Rome – the opening dress was a literal nod to their musical muse, with its skirt embroidered with a section of the La Traviata score. Day wear came in the form of impeccably stark dresses and fluid jumpsuits in organic earthen tones. Cashmere sheaths with curving seams down the front to accentuate the hourglass shape were the least ostentatious pieces.
While the pair clearly displayed they can go beyond their iconic captivating silhouette – the covered-up lace dress – their ethereal dresses still took centre stage and swivelled fashion’s eyes on them. Anthropomorphic ballerina tulle dresses with hand-sewn feathers and butterflies, hand-painted tigers roaming the cascading rolls of fabric reminiscent of Henri Rousseau artwork, and the pièce de résistance, a gown and train stitched with over 2000 river pearls and gold thread.
With a collection that pushes their atelier to stratospheric heights, the real marvel is the designers’ mastery of extravagance and modesty.
by Roxy Mirshahi