Cuba is the it destination this year. Ever since Obama and Castro opened up normalized relations between the two countries, vacation cruises have been touting their added stop in Havana. Food Network sent Guy Feiri to go film an episode of vacation out of the way eateries, so we would know where to go grab a bite to eat. Obama himself took a tour. And the day after the borders opened, the Fashion World was for once not fashionably late, but right on time, with the first Resort show of the season, Chanel, doing a runway presentation in the middle of the street.
Valentino is one of those names that you might think is large enough to feel the pressure to join the “Runway For Resort” set, but designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli clearly have enough self confidence and enough assurance that this is still most likely a fad that most last to stay doing presentation photos in their studio. But they’re not so into their own world that they haven’t felt the pull of the Cuban craze sweeping the jet setters.
Just as Chanel’s show would not be the last we will see of Cuba as an inspiration for a collection in 2016, nor is the line put out here. Chiuri and Piccioli also haven’t done away with what they know in favor of a Cuban theme either. Everything about this extensive collection of nearly 80 looks screams their usual stylings. it’s just that they’ve swapped out the usual European based hothouse florals for a different set of hothouse florals for another area of the globe, complete with a few pineapples. it helps of course, that the butterfly is the symbol of Valentino, and the floral version of it, the white ginger lily, is the Cuban National Flower.
the most interesting choices though stem back to the Cuban revolution, where several of Valentino’s uber expensive day dresses found themselves paired with old school camouflage jackets. it’s a 1970s throwback we haven’t seen done much recently, since in the US it was tied to memories of Vietnam. Have we finally been able to move past that period and into one where those memories are more about the generalized failings of the Cold War as a whole? If so, viva la revolution.
The full collection is below.