Speaking to Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli is always like hearing an Italian art history lesson in stereo. In one ear, she is talking about Mariano Fortuny, his Delphos dress, and “aged” velvet, and in the other, he’s speaking about Isadora Duncan and Loie Fuller and their “expressionist dancing.” All of this exotic early-20th-century Venetian-pagan romanticism was sewn lightly into the Valentino Haute Couture collection and trailed around by barefoot nymphs with gold metal serpents writhing in their tendriled tresses.
There’s something so recognizable about a Valentino dress today. It’s almost invariably floor-length (although there’s the odd short one, too) and seemingly demure, though plenty of gauzy, sparkle-sprinkled transparency and more than a few plunging Grecian necklines come into it. But really, it’s the incredible things these designers and their Roman workforce can do with fabric that makes each dress a paradox of age-old hand-wrought elaborateness and youthful simplicity.
The designers’ treatment of velvet alone could fill a chapter. Here it came pleated, painted, and patinated, and at one point, woven and knotted into a web. Then the colors: dark mossy green, deep burgundy, absinthe yellow. The pièce de la résistance was in green velvet brocade, worn by a redheaded girl it had a train, and a sheer bodice on which the pattern of the brocade had been cut out and reappliquéd. It was one of those completely stunning dresses that will lodge in the memory of haute couture highs.
Backstage, one of the things the designers were talking about was striving for timelessness. That involves a fashion contradiction in terms: Every season has to be different, yet for a house to make a long-term impression, it needs to stay the same. At Valentino, they have all that happening, and this season there were some dresses that made time stand still.
Enjoy the VALENTINO Spring 2016 Haute Couture fashion show at the end of this post! LoL, Andrea
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Phot Credit/Source: The House of Maison VALENTINO
Photos by Yannis Vlamos / Indigitalimages
enjoy my Instagram-story direct from the show by @andreajankeofficial
With Love, Andrea