Valentino's elegant romanticism

Those who search for ethereal elegance in fashion will find their home again this season in the maison of Valentino.


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Valentino - Fall-Winter2018 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula

From the color palette to the fabrics to the regal silhouette, the house’s show on Sunday evening was a pure statement of hyper romanticism.
 
Few designers put diverse colors together as brilliantly as Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli. His blend of bright pastels and soft primary colors was pretty exceptional in this show, staged inside a custom-made space, an immense hangar built for just 15 minutes of action, whose huge windows afforded fine views of Les Invalides' gilded dome.
 
The show came after Piccioli’s rather sublime work in Milan for Moncler Genius – made in similar colors, though in nylon – which saw him radically, and nimbly, change gears.
 
For his day job he worked the slim A-Line silhouette that one associates with Roman designers  - from Mila Schön to Valentino – with great justice, cutting silk gowns with scallop trim.
 
The whole mood was classy; heightened by the very exuberance of the technique – immense fabric flowers and half-meter wide petals that spread across satin evening gowns; remarkable intarsia fur coats with stunningly enlarged orchids; gigantic poppies and enormous pansies.
 
“Grace is authority. It finds in kindness the tone of expression, and individuality in etherealness,” opined Piccioli’s somewhat florid program notes.
 
At times, perhaps, especially in its middle section, the show did seem a little caught in a time capsule, locked into the aspic of 1970s alta moda.  However, overall this was a bold statement of confident fantasy.
 
Even with Björk in full throttle on the soundtrack singing Isobel, there were audible gasps and murmurs throughout the show at the sheer beauty of many of the looks. Particularly the finale, a half-dozen ravishing gowns: pride of place going to Kaia Gerber in a truly awesome floor-length look in colliding hyper petals and sequined sleeves. Ironically, one of the flowers resembled a Gerber daisy.
 
A standing ovation at the finale, a beaming designer taking his bow. Onward now to the IPO, which if it works half as well as this collection should be extremely profitable.

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