Autumn/Winter 2014-15 Valentino
What a hire Valentino designers, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have turned out to be. The Romans seemingly can’t put a foot wrong. Really, Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti must be slapping each other on the back over these two.
Chiuri and Piccioli have pioneered the rebirth of the covered up gown: long sleeves, high necklines, floor-grazing hemlines, and there were several more offered up here; in fragile lace or richly embroidered tulle, each one more worked, more beautiful than the next.
But for those who live in the real world, well, as real as this house gets, there was plenty here this afternoon to form the fundamentals of a woman’s wardrobe: midi-length sleeveless shifts, bib-front blouses, mannish grey trousers and turtle neck combos (even if the fur coat that went over the top would be out of most women’s reach – blooming in roses, it was pieced together like a seamless jigsaw, mind-boggling to think how and to fathom the number of hours it took to create).
Patchworking is another trend to add to the autumn trend list. The duo took a harlequin-like approach when it came to constructing full leather skirts and mini dresses, the idea even extended to knee-high boots (to die for) and ruched lace cocktail dresses, all in off-kilter colour combinations of red, white, brick, grey-blue and sage.
Then came the leather, super fine leather, so papery it looked like it could tear like tissue. It was worked into some achingly elegant pieces, like an overcoat decorated in lines of tiny press studs, midi skirts streaming in tassels as delicate as linguine, and capes that had all the movement of silk. Consider capes another hit item this season – last night at Saint Laurent – and here they appeared several times and in multiple guises. From those embroidered in a swarm of butterflies (a motif that first fluttered in the duo’s pre-collection) to others that were like ornate tapestries. It also manifested as a silhouette idea via voluminous cape-back dresses, and even jumpsuits – all set to ensure a dramatic exit. And it wasn’t only butterflies that found their way into the collection but a whole menagerie of creatures – a lace-edged silk gown was printed in birds, lions, turtles, unicorns and flamingoes.
This was an enormous body of work and one that neatly highlighted the breadth of skills this talented partnership combines; from daywear to eveningwear – all occasions catered for; girlhood to womanhood, the appeal was far-reaching.
As the pair took their bow a beaming Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti embraced them. Yes, a fine hire indeed.
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