Ahhh Valentio…. another collection that had marine life as a main inspiration! For Spring 2015 Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri took us on a grand tour of the 18th- century Italian coastline which was very much in keeping with their sumptuous bohemian aesthetic. True to form, the duo’s love of their home country was apparent in this collection and Spring 2015’s offering is especially poetic in it’s romantic Italianate details.
The Grand Tour is a particularly lovely theme which sadly, is an idea that lives mostly in our minds these days. It’s an old, primarily British custom dating back to the Victorian era, where wealthy young men took a year-long sightseeing journey through Europe after their studies come to an end. Show notes explained the concept as “…an educational trip taken by cultured young Europeans to explore the art, philosophy and traditions of Italy…” but to attempt to condense the whole gamut of Italian art, culture and imagery into a single showing would be an impossible (and disrespectful) task. Therefore, it was a smart move on the designers’ part to pick their favourite facets of Italian life and transfer them into their collection. Thus, we saw hints of Venice, Rome and Naples throughout the showing, along with as all the coastal references.
There were 79 looks in the Spring 2015 Valentino show and I’m pretty certain that had they been left to their own devices, Mr. Piccioli and Ms. Chiuri would have sent out even more outfits down the catwalk! Still, this huge collection shows that even in this very condensed version, Italy is a wide ranging and inspiration dense place. The duo touched on on many of Italy’s highlights- from its antiquities all the way down to its kitsch- and along the way, created a compilation of fancy-trek perfect apparel that’s fit for even the most glamorous of journeys.
Think patterned pinafore dresses with slashed bodices, ribbed lace sweaters, button- front shirts, jackets with bracelet sleeves, ruffled mini dresses, patterned mini short suit sets, bib blouses, wide-leg trousers, car coats, culottes, strappy gladiator sandals, slouchy rectangular totes, and aviator shades. They’re all gorgeous!
Then there was the evening wear segment…FABULOUS!
Here we saw some gorgeous floor- length gowns reminiscent of this year’s Fall couture show. Silhouettes were clean and body-skimming, but there were sexy touches to be seen amongst all the looks. Shown were some sultry halter numbers with necklines plunging past the waist, sheer fabrics were used to excess and in many cases trompe d’œil ornamentation was the only thing preserving the models’ modesty. Here is where the seaside references were most apparent, with the designers using couture embellishments to covey their theme. Thus, there were gowns printed with bold starfish and snails, others were embroidered with beaded shells, ships, and underwater creatures… some were covered in trailing appliqués and some had graphic panels of opaque fabric overlaying silky net in precise patterns. Each and every piece was an advertisement of the adroitness and craftsmanship of those working in Valentino’s ateliers
Just as they have in previous seasons, the house’s head designers did what they do best: they created exceptional, couture level clothing in a ready-to-wear setting. Expert craftsmanship could be seen at every turn and I love that the ornamentation seen throughout the collection- from the precise cutouts, lace insets, broderie anglaise, lace appliqués, embroidery and flowing prints seen in the daywear, to all of the shimmering evening wear decorations- was executed with the utmost attention to detail.
The colour palette of this offering was as wide ranging as the clothing itself, with shades flowing from delicate and illusory to bold and bright. Blush pink, ice blue, khaki, cream, cinnamon, lavender, emerald green, garnet red, navy blue, black and a rainbow of candy pastels…the list goes on.
Prints were also major part of this collection and they too covered a wide scope of impact, with motifs ranging from vivid and graphic to sheer and whisper-soft. Pastel Neapolitan stripes, bold scarf prints, vivid architectural swirls, trailing underwater vines and floral prints were all included. Valentino’s vintage coral print was seen here as well, as were large, singly- printed, pop art images of underwater creatures.
Visually, it was intense, but it all worked.
Valentino’s design duo have been persistent and unvarying in their alluring and distinguished looks season after season, and this showing was right in line with all they’ve done thus far. They have seamlessly interpreted the brand’s signatures, while simultaneously establishing their own point of view.
Mr. Piccioli and Ms. Chiuri have produced an undeniably beautiful Valentino collection for Spring 2015. It’s sure to please the brand’s longstanding fans, and is certain to attract even more! It’s colours and glam, carefree air will certainly be irresistible bait to the younger fashion set and I am thoroughly in love (although I’ve been enamored for years).
I can’t wait to see what next season brings!