While there are queens and princesses and a myriad other roles in which women come to power, there is no title higher than that of goddess. Of course, the appellation refers to ancient mythical beliefs, but for Fall 2014 Couture, Valentino made goddesses out of mortals. Maria Grazia Chiuri’s and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s intersection of Greek, pagan, and warrior costuming was a clear and enthusiastic celebration of the female form.
This powerful and beautiful collection contained some of the best looks of Paris Couture Week, as well as a sense that Valentino is as much about preserving the past as it is modernizing the present. The drape and fit of the dramatic gowns in the presentation were on par with our understanding of ancient costuming, but the accents were very current. It was an intelligent move to imprint flowing dresses with fleur-de-lis leather appliqués, and even smarter to bind them up with thick leather straps around the waist.
After the decorative beginning of the show – which repeated the intarsia motif along goddess gowns, basket-woven chiffon separates, and drop-shoulder frocks – the design duo introduced elegantly draped gowns in monochrome shades of white, Valentino red, camel, denim blue, and black. An enticing minimalism was at play with a stack of muted gowns which featured asymmetrical overlays that fell languidly across the body, mimicking the effect of a cape. Accents of layered chiffon, rows of gossamer feathers, and glossy brocades were the result of hundreds of hours of handcrafted work. Meanwhile, the closing looks of cross-body draped gowns in diaphanous sheer fabrics were the perfect marriage of the medieval and the modern. It doesn’t take a historian to understand that this collection will go down in history as one Valentino’s best Couture collections of the 21st century.
Photos: Courtesy of GoRunway