Thursday 26 January 2012

Haute Couture | Feel Like A Princess - VALENTINO


"We want to do something which is about fragility and beauty," said Maria Grazia Chiuri, "something light - a reaction to the time we're in."   

VALENTINO Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2012

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli were working in the VALENTINO showroom on final fittings for their couture show yesterday. A girl stood before them in a long, full-skirted dress with delicate wrist-length sleeves and a high neck in yards of blurred, faded blue-and-yellow rose print. "I feel like a princess," she breathed, catching sight of herself in a mirror.

Enjoy the VALENTINO Couture Fashion Show & 'My VALENTINO' by ANDREA JANKE at the end of this post! LoL, Andrea

All the signs are that something extraordinary - even emotional - will take place between models and the audience when this collection hits the runway. It's based on the designers research into eighteenth-century portraiture, the court of Marie Antoinette, the romance of Barry Lyndon and the outcome is exquisite in every detail of the multiple refinements of lace, tulle, and minute embroideries summond by the Valentino couture atelliers in Rome. We are set to see lace slippers, cream embroidered tuxedos, high-necked ruffle-collared blouses, and any number of enchanting dresses in the kind of handwork rarely witnessed in the twenty-first century. Still, there is nothing Old World about the feeling of the clothes. Ornate as they sound, there's an overriding freshness and vitality in them which feels genuine to a young girl like that model. On rare occasions, fashion shows can be intensely moving, and this may well be done of them. Note to audience: Pack tissues, just in case.

The cryptic Surrealist painting of the mid-twentieth-century Belgian artist Paul Delvaux - a flock of young women in pale turn-of-the century gowns walking away from the viewer - together with portraits of Marie Antoinette when she was a young Austrian princess; stills from the opulent 1938 MGM blockbuster that cast Norma Shearer as the grown-up version of the ill-fated French queen; and Deborah Turbeville's mysterious photographs were among the poetic inspirations for the exquisite couture collection created by Valentino's gifted designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli.

Light as thistledown, and shown on wan, reed-slim girls, the clothes also referenced some of Valentino's own giddily romantic clothes from the early 1970's, especially in the use of faded flower-sprigged organza, often veiled and shadowed in point d'esprit and lace. The designers used warp-printed taffetas of the sort that Marie Antoinette and her ladies favored for frolics at Le Petit Trianon, woven with subtle foliate motifs and even an eighteenth-century toile (in a soft rust red) representing Africa for a strapless ball dress with ballooning skirts. Four-leaf clovers or posies of violets were printed over airy organza and shadowed with layers of tulle and lace, like Belle Èpoque tea gowns. At the neck, a prim ruffle of lace.

The pair's tailored revealed a strictor hand - a sleek ivory cape oevr lean pants for instance, or jersey or double-face dresses with hand detailing of extraordinary subtlety and skill. Thus the princess seams of an unassuming little dress were finished with rows of self-fabric piping spirals, graduated in scale from shoulder to hem (the program notes inform one that these "rat's tails", used to trim a severe greige cotton coat, required 450 meters of fabric). The program also revealed that 1,000 hours of labor, for instance, went into the handwork on the opening dress of elaborately smocked organza; 1,250 hours into the sparkling silver embroidry on a chine taffeta redingote based on an eighteenth-century version; and 800 hours just to weave the warp-print faille for one of those ball dresses. These breathtaking figures reveal just what makes the haute couture so special, but it is the hands of Valentino's skilled Roman atelier staff that really spin magic into material that is, of course, fra from bas, and bring the Chiuri and Piccioli vision so beautifully to life.

In their own soft-spoken way this design duo have been able to take Valentino's uniquely feminine ideal, remove some of his va-va-voom, but gently refashion it to create a unique and compellingly modern glamour that is all their own.

Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories

Photo Credit /Source: VOGUE
Photography by Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway

For all VALENTINO Aficionados a little selection of 'My Valentino
by ANDREA JANKE' - Enjoy! LoL, Andrea

 'The Romantic Mind by VALENTINO'  

Spring/Summer 2012 collection and,

at the end of this post you'll be linked to further fabulous VALENTINO's!

1 comment:

Shagun said...

Fairytale like, surreal designs by Valentino. As always, it's all about romanticism & very sophisticated style.I love the uber feminine creations..softly sensuous...Amazing editorial, dear Andrea!!!!...Cheers, Shagun

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