For spring 2015 haute couture Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli are in the mood for love. Their inspiration board was lined with quotes from Shakespeare, bits and pieces of Dante's Inferno, and the paintings of Marc Chagall, hopeless romantics all. Chagall, in particular, captivated them. "He had an incredible life, very hard, but he maintained his optimistic vision," Piccioli said. The painter's Russian ancestry provided a leitmotif for the embellishments that are so central to the designers' aesthetic. There were leather flowers appliquéd to rough-hewn linen, naive needlepoint embroideries on long pinafores worn over smocked shirts, and a shearling vest densely decorated with leather paillettes. The Russian pieces were far from humble, but their craftiness pointed to the differences between Chiuri and Piccioli's version of the brand and that of its founder. In this case, at least, they wanted for a touch of Valentino's glamour.
"In some ways, you are flying when you are in love," Chiuri said, apropos of a pair of tulle gowns, one embroidered with rainbows and the other with clouds of silver lamé. It was a beautiful sentiment, and we commend her for expressing herself so earnestly. Sincerity of Chiuri's kind is a true rarity in this business. Nonetheless, the clothes were best when they weren't wearing their heart on their sleeve. A velvet dress straight out of fair Verona in a luminous shade of light blue was striking in its simplicity. Its sisters, a caftan shape in quilted red velvet and a strappy black velvet style with a bodice in the shape of wings, were the show's undisputed highlights sophisticated, rich-looking, and grown-up. The gown with the molten gold bodice will surely be another favorite. Its skirt is stitched with a line from Dante's Inferno, which is fitting. A girl would go to hell and back to get her hands on it.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli weren’t talking about all that fairy-fingered delicacy after the show, however. They were far more interested in discussing the emotional, cultural sources they’d fused together to arrive at this imagery: primarily an exhibition of the work of Marc Chagall, which the designers saw in Milan, mixed up with the love poetry of Renaissance Italy. The point about Chagall was that he was a painter possessed of an almost mystical tenderness. He was also Jewish, an immigrant from Russia to France, who kept painting pictures of his long-lost village home life, peasant blouses and big, tiered dresses included. For the Valentino couple, the collection was also about “the power of love,” a reconciling human emotion in our dark times. Over and over again, it magicked glorious one-off beauties into beings nobody else could possibly produce.
Discover the VALENTINO Spring 2015 Haute Couture show at the end of this post!
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: The House of VALENTINO
Photos by Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages
More To Love ...
VALENTINO Fifth Avenue - For the occasion of the opening of the new VALENTINO flagshipstore, 963 Fifth Avenue in New York last August, the Roman couture house presented on December 10th, 2014, for the first time ever an Haute Couture show in NYC, 945 Madison Avenue. Though a fair number of fashion VIPs were over in Tokyo awaiting the Dior Pre-Fall extravaganza, there were still dozens of the industry’s great and good on hand last night at the Madison Avenue building formerly known as the Whitney Museum of American Art. They had come from places near and far to witness the Valentino Sala Bianca Haute Couture show.
Giambattista Valli’s inspiration board for his Couture No. 8 presentation this spring 2015 season featured images of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel in a pensive mood in the thirties, and then taking a walk in the gardens of the Tuileries in feisty later life juxtaposed with portraits of Janis Joplin, in hippie patchwork and bellbottoms.