Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have trademarked their names as champions of romance. Their ready-to-wear and couture collections consistently deliver a message of frozen beauty trapped in the Pre-Raphaelite world of iconic feminine beauty. The biggest challenge the designers face going forward is progress.
While the silhouette for the Spring 2016 couture collection remains the same, the designers added pleating (done by hand) to this seasons offerings. The collection made loose, linear references to the sartorial iconoclasm of the early 20th century with a strong nod to that era’s modernist theatricality with classical allusions, the models wore golden snake headpieces and walked in bare, bejeweled feet through pale leaves and petals strewn across the floor.
The clothes weren’t overly decorated as the designers made careful use of obvious sparkle. More often, they created interest with fabric treatments — such as an intricate patchwork of brocades, hand-painted gold medallions on red velvet and giant butterflies embroidered at the hem of a pristine white gown.