Monday Muse: Romance Inspires Valentino Couture Spring 2015
Love is in the air. Designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli are known for their modern take on amore at Valentino, but for the label’s latest couture collection, they put love and romance at the forefront. Their inspiration board was overflowing with love poems, Shakespearean sonnets and excerpts from Dante’s Inferno. The resuls? A collection of dresses that would look perfect for a day in Verona, soaking up the romance of the Bard and celebrating the craftsmanship and handiwork of the Valentino atelier.
One of the hallmarks of Valentino — and of Valentino couture especially — is the attention to detail. Last season, the designers showed off the ability of the workshop, embroidering cosmic designs on light-as-air silks that looked nearly translucent. This time around, the designers took those quotes from Dante and lines from Shakespeare’s love poems and placed them along the hems of floor-grazing gowns. Fabrics looked simple enough from afar, but upon closer inspection, there were burnouts woven right in, creating the illusion of mille-feuille, floating clouds, rainbows or rolling waves.
Another touchstone that the designers mentioned was Marc Chagall, and his romantic images of pastoral villages, tiered-skirted women and almost listless, bucolic life were illustrated as models floated by in sheer skirts and long vests embroidered with scrolls, leather flowers and beads.
It wasn’t just dresses, though a velvet wing-bodice gown will surely see a red carpet. There were caftans and separates that took the collection out of the realm of fantasy, especially when they featured humble fabrics such as linen and burlap.
Since taking the helm of Valentino, Chiuri and Piccioli have been carving out their identity at the brand, brining a luxurious austerity to the line and moving away from the Dolce Vita glam of its former designer. And with this lovely collection, they showed that over-the-top glamour isn’t the only way to catch the attention of a flashbulb. One real surprise? While there were red dresses, Monsieur Valentino’s signature hue was softened in velvet and not a one had a va-va-voom siren silhouette. And with that, the duo at Valentino have floated away on with their own unique ethos.