Paris Couture Fall 2016: Valentino

Yas, Queen! Slay! Is a slang terms that’s developed recently, and mostly in reference to feminist pop icons like Beyoncé. But upon looking at the couture offerings of Valentino’s Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri, I found myself thinking that it would be the appropriate thing to say here….but in Elizabethan English, and in regards to the actual Queen Elizabeth I, who seemed to be the inspiration for their collection.

Or perhaps the phrase really should go to Maria Grazia Chiuri herself. The rumors had been bubbling up that her time with the Valentino line was drawing to a close, and after the show, the pair confirmed it. Henceforth Piccioli will be heading up the Fashion House solo. In tribute to his long time partner in deign, they left us with a fashion line fit for a queen.


Chiuri and Piccioli have been the heads at Valentino SpA since 2008, though they had been heirs apparent for years prior, after being hand-picked by Valentino himself in 1999, after seeing their anti-minimalist sensibilities at work at Fendi. Their run at the brand has seen the line transition almost seamlessly through the modernization of the fashion industry as the inner workings of what was once an insular group became fodder for pop culture the same as if it were pop music or movies. Not all brands made the switch so easily, but their always accessible old school glamour, though still rooted in the Italian styles and traditions, made it possible for the brand to easily remain a major force.

Chiuri met Piccioli early in her carer and the twosome has been together three decades before this split became final today. Though perhaps this final line is not the most groundbreaking of collections from the two, that was never the point. The point was to bring the glamour and the mystique of the Italian fashion world and make it so that the modern one could appreciate it. And with that goal in mind, one can say that this collection once again slays.

Chiuri has not announced yet where she is heading for her first solo venture, but all speculation is that the still empty head at Dior is the most likely spot. Until we know for certain, let us let the queens parade one last time.

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