Paris Spring 2016 Couture: Valentino

While some designers have been shaking up their houses, either with new directions or new directors, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli were determined to deliver exactly as they always do. The Valentino look has coalesced over the past few years with them at the helm, and clearly the message was “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”


Unfortunately, that also don’t leave much to say about the clothes themselves. A lot of Roman influences isn’t a surprise from the Italian house.  Long flowing gown that are semi see thru play to the current runway trends while holding themselves apart as wholly “Valentino.”

I’m not saying the gowns aren’t worth oohing and ahhing over, but it does make for a short review. The full collection is below. Oooh. Ahh.

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New York Fashion Week Spring 2016 RTW: Red Valentino

The day before NYFW officially begins is always a time for those minor lines of major houses to come trotting out. It’s where Red Valentino, the “more accessible” side of Valentino sat this season. This might be because of how poorly received their last offers of badly re-imagined grunge when over.


It’s kind of a pity if that’s the case, because for Spring 2016, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli went with something far closer to their style–a reinvention of the Marie Antionette French style for this ever more class stratified time period.

Everything about it worked better than attempting the American so rich-we-dress-poor movement, from the silhouettes to the accessories. (OMG the shoes. I want ALL the shoes.) Between the lace up bodices that only make a size ) waist tinier and a leather and modern take on the 1% of the 1%, these outfits are going to be all the rage among those today who aren’t even interested in sharing cake, let alone bread, with the poors.

The full line is below.

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Paris Fall 2015 Couture: Valentino

Valentino has held the last slot for Couture Week for more than a few cycles now, which might be why they assumed they could turn the entire finale into an event about them. First of all, ti wasn’t in Paris–it was in Rome, which meant most reviewers had to skip everyone else who showed on the last day in order to get on a  puddle jumper and travel to another country. Upon arrival, the guests were then taken on a multi part event, complete with an pre-show exhibit that featured many of Valentino’s early designs that took the crowd of high-end fashionistas on a tour of hidden spaces in Rome. One would assume the resulting fashion show that closed the event would therefore be all Rome, all the time, with designs that recall the city’s long and stored centuries of existence.


Which is why, when the first Game of Thrones inspired dress came out, I burst out laughing.

Now, to be fair, I don’t think Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli meant to reference the show. After all, it doesn’t film in Italy (though it films just about everywhere else in Europe.) Besides, admitting one engages and enjoys with such non highbrow culture would be gauche in the couture fashion circles. And yet, the first dress struck such a Sansa’s Raven Feather Gown note as it walked, followed by a high-necked black cloak like piece that looked like what she wore int he premiere episode of the season, it was hard not to see the resemblance.

And it continued through out the show. It wasn’t every outfit–some were obvious takes on the toga, for instance, other referenced gowns carved into the Colosseum walls. And then Margaery’s wedding gown walked by. And then her other wedding gown. Good thing we didn’t see her get married on screen all three times.

Perhaps it’s proof of Thrones‘ grounding their costume designs in medieval and ancient history. Or perhaps it’s proof that the two designers quietly binge watch on their days off. We report, you decide.

The full collection is below.

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Resort 2016: Valentino

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli of Valentino recently picked up the award for International Artist of the Year, so it;s not that big of a surprise that for Resort this season they stuck to what worked. If you feel like you’ve seen these sorts of looks from them before, it’s because you have–the covered up silhouette that is rendered in see through lace and festooned with complex beading has become the House’s calling card, along with the rainbow of colors often contained within one look.


For this collection, the inspiration came from the Vreeland quote “The eye has to travel.” Travel with gusto, as the 80+ outfits in the collection were all a riot of visual stimulation, with hippie style florals, butterflies and dragons, all in the stylized format that Valentino is recognized for. But eighty looks are too many, especially for resort, where the norm is usually closer to the 30 range. (Unless you’re Karl Lagerfeld, but he’s just doing it to show off that he can at this point.) After a while some of the looks began to feel repetitive.

We’ve gathered the 45 or so highlights for you below.

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Resort 2016: Red Valentino

Red Valentino is returning to form after a few seasons off. After a rather poorly received grunge collection for Fall 2015, it was time to get back to basics and go back the mod and the lace and the cheerful vibe that has always defined the brand at it’s best.

Red Valentino-001

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s collection for the holiday/resort season were mini skirts and mini dresses galore, mixed with black and white laces, pop art images (the rainbows were a highlight) and sweet little neckties.

At points, the fifty piece collection seemed to have maybe needed a bit of editing down. This was true especially in the beginning, when all the black and white combinations began to run together, and the ruffles seemed to be endless waves of lace. But this is a minor quibble when the real story is the relief of a Red Valentino collection worth spending money on again.

The full line is below.

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Paris Fashion Week Fall 2015 RTW: Valentino

If you don’t have the most interesting or the most interesting line to show at Fashion Week, you can always pull stunts, and be sure the crowd leaves Fashion Week, talking about you. That was the lesson today at Valentino. the clothes weren’t always innovative, and more than a few were retreads of stuff we’ve seen before–almost a highlight reel of the last few seasons.


Then that happened.

Zoolander 2 happens to be filming right now by the way. Did you even know there was a sequel to the 15-year-old cult classic satire of the Fashion Industry? (Well, if they can make a damn Dumb and Dumber sequel, they might as well make a Zoolander one.) The synergy was strong in this appearance. Stiller and Wilson got a major promotion for their currently under the radar production of a sequel no one asked for, and Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli found a reason to get people to talk about their show.

Not that the clothes were bad. It’s just that there wasn’t anything all that new or different. With Valentino, that means most of the collection would have been a knock out coming from anyone else. There were 84 outfits, if you include the Derek Zoolander and Hansel ones. We have the highlights below.

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Paris Spring 2015 Couture: Valentino

Ah romance! Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli brought it in spades to the runway with a 46 piece collection that was determined to win over the hopeless romantics of the red carpet. Along with some romanticized folklore-based Italian Renaissance peasant dresses, there were red gowns galore, florals and sheers and few flights of fancy–anyone want to go fly a kite?


Just remember, even when your life may be in chaos, you can always wear a gown emblazoned with “Amor Vincit Omnia” (Love Conquers All.) The full gallery is below.

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