Valentino: Seven deadly sins in 17 seductive minutes
In one of his thoughtful moods, Valentino’s couturier Pierpaolo Piccioli revealed that he was inspired this season by The Seven Deadly sins, though seeing them, positively, as risks to be conquered.
The result was a frequently superb collection, especially its finale with ball gowns of truly impeccable taste. One marble green chiffon gown finished with large paisley Garden of Delights embroidery had wonderful poise; while a copper cut-out gown was the epitome of modern event elegance.
One also had to love the bizarre series of handbags made up of truly eccentric heads of oxen (representing wrath), monkeys (gluttony) and snakes (lust), for the deadly sins, as the designer preferred to call them, The Seven Capital Vices. The result of a collaboration with artist Harumi Klossowska de Rola and a clever juxtaposition with the chic eveningwear.
That said, the show began slowly – with too many mono-color cashmere wraps and coats; before taking off with fetching off-the-shoulder flowing dresses. Its finale, however, was a rare statement of pure beauty – and a timely reminder of the power of couture. How the immense demands put on couturiers to create something new and fantastical is the very guarantee that the marque’s other products will pursue excellence as well.
“Haute couture expresses a sacred notion, meant to be perceived as something that oversteps reality,” argued the couturier in his show program. Sounds pretentious, but is actually pretty true.
Since under his sole artistic direction, Valentino has continued to grow rapidly, and the ability of Piccioli to dream up such a pure vision of couture has been wonderful for the brand. It grants it a certain sense of stature and sophistication that all clients want. Piccioli took a languid walk around the Hotel Solomon de Rothschild, saying grazie to his fans, who applauded heartily. And, not insignificantly, on the applause meter, Piccioli definitely got the loudest cheers of the season.
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