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After the success of the Valentino documentary directed by Matt Tyrnauer – Valentino: The Last Emperor – Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, the longtime accessory designers that Valentino Garavani choose himself as the designers for his eponymous line, had even more to prove.
Their first Haute Couture collection was not very well received, with many feeling that they had trouble striking a balance between sticking with Valentino’s signature aesthetic, while at the same time moving the house forward into a new direction.
Did they have more success the second time around? Yes.
While there was all the lace, feather, bow, and ruffle detailing that have become Valentino signatures, the collection was significantly edgier.
Short dresses dominated, and the dark palette did not have any traces of Valentino red.
Chiuri and Piccioli showed some beautiful corsetry and beading work, and a good chunk of the collection had a very unexpected goth-glam feel to it (almost reminiscent of Alexander McQueen at times).
The intricacy of the detail can truly be appreciated after seeing the documentary film that showed Valentino’s seamstress at work.
Face masks and ornamentation appeared in this collection that were somewhat similar in style to those seen at the Riccardo Tisci-designed Givenchy Haute Couture collection this season.
Perhaps, in a small part, Chiuri and Piccioli were overly inspired by the Middle East, although that certainly did not translate into the clothes. Here the masks and head adornment added to an aura of mystery and intrigue.
In short, this was a completely new direction for the house of Valentino.
Surprisingly, it was the long dresses that the duo showed at the end that were the least promising.
A bit overly frou frou, they were covered in lace, rosettes and other surface adornments that made them seem unflattering even on the slender model bodies that showcased them.