Thursday, 23 January 2014

Ethereal Haute Couture by VALENTINO

The design duo of the moment,  Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli took their inspiration for the VALENTINO Spring/Summer 2014 Haute Couture from "the most fantastical Italian opera possible". They took us in a "beyond exquisite" embroidered flora and fauna - Garden of Eden - the runway was a special hand painted catwalk, painted by the Roman operatic house. 

Discover the VALENTINO Spring 2014 Haute Couture show at the end of this post! 

LoL, Andrea


In their time at VALENTINO, these cheerful, experienced, sensitive Romans have won over the cognoscenti and the crowd; thrilled the very young, and cracked the cynicism of hard-to-impress grown-ups. That, in a nutshell, is what they demonstrated once again for spring couture, in a show which pushed the parameters of their collection to include both frothy tulle ballerina dresses and impeccably stark, almost colorless columns. “My conversation is with all kinds of women,” said Chiuri. “I’m not just interested in dressing myself. We respect and love all kinds of individuality.”

 Inspired by the Italian opera - tulle dress embroidered with 
the score from La Traviata

Curiously, it feels like going off on the wrong track to go too deeply into their “inspiration.” Suffice it to say, theater production and set design have been in their heads since they started going to the opera in Rome. (They’ve lived in the city all their lives and had never been there until recently; a syndrome all capital-city-dwellers will recognize in themselves.) They got involved with the scenery painters. “What they are doing has been going on since the fourteenth century,” said Piccioli. “The artisanal tradition strongly relates to the basis of what we do in couture.” Allora: The pathways the models trod on in Paris were hand-painted canvases by the man who does the theater sets in Rome. Somehow, the designers were absorbing the theatrics, but kudos to them: It didn’t end up as a literal excursion around a tourist spot.

 The most magnificent cape, multicolored feather butterflies 
taking 550 hours to apply. Inspired by Madame Butterfly

Yet, if we switch the dialogue to what is relevant to fashion, Chiuri and Piccioli are playing on another plane. On the critical prove-yourself level, the Valentino pair have been challenged to demonstrate that they’ve got more up their sleeves than long, covered-up dresses in lace the resonating emotional innovation which first swiveled fashion’s eyes in their direction. With this show, they dared to demonstrate that they can go beyond that captivating silhouette, continue with magical embroidery (a whole Garden of Eden scene on a skirt), and make short dresses which have as much innocent romanticism as their long ones. Still, far more intriguing is the other thing: the contrasting elegance of the completely undecorated, amazingly cut columns. Walk one of those into a room, and you are going to stand apart as surely as Valentino’s young followers stood apart from bodycon dressers three years ago.

 Inspired by Verdi's Aida, this dress in natural silk and 
handmade fringing is printed with a giraffe and a fierce lion 

 Colors are earthy such as grey, brown & rust as seen in this 
elephant cashmere patchwork cape. 1,300 hours of work 

 Many never say this name aloud but this Lady Macbeth gown 
in tulle and Celtic gold embroidery cannot be overlooked

Dreamlike dress made of 5.000 meters of silver & gold thread 
and 1.800 hours of craftsmanship, named Princess Turandot 


 An unfinished black tutu dress is adorned with an ash colored 
monkey & handsewn ostrich feathers inspired by Rossini 

 The final look of Maison VALENTINO Spring 2014 Haute Couture 
is crowded with an African scene of exotic animals in multicolored satin. 
Taking 2.000 hours to make


Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit/Source: The House of VALENTINO / VOGUE
Photos: The House of VALENTINO / Yannis Vlamos / InDigitalimages

More Couture To Love ...

'The Story To Tell: ALBRECHT OLLENDIEK Haute Couture'

If only these clothes could talk the stories they could tell ... Some days before Paris Haute Couture started, I relished an exceptional couture moment with Albrecht Ollendiek in his Frankfurt based haute couture showroom. A very private appointment in a very private space of haute couture - Saalgasse 10, Frankfurt. So excited, because Albrecht is one of my favourite couturiers since more than 15 years and his annual couture shows at Schlosshotel Kronberg are renomed as a fashionable highlight in the Rhein-Main area.

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