Valentino’s Rome-based presentation for Fall 2015 Couture, entitled ‘Mirabilia Romae’ (or ‘The Marvels of Rome’), was both a tour of the city’s storied history and architecture and a tour de force for skilled couturiers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. In the Piazza Mignanelli, a standing ovation greeted the duo as the show closed with a final runway turn that offered a second glimpse of the reverent and anachronistic collection, which is a notable occasion given the fashion industry’s typically stoic approach to post-show appreciation.
Modest, high-necked dresses with floor-scraping hemlines opened the show on a classic note. Heavy fabrics were interrupted by lace paneling and sheer layers, or dressed up with geometric appliqués and curving cutouts. Over 30 looks were done in all black, but all were romantic examples of the brand’s preference for adopting the styles of bygone eras. The brand’s Valentino Red shade entered the picture on a simple one-shoulder tunic that wouldn’t have been out of place in ancient Rome, and continued to make an impact on toggle coats, sheer gowns with bib overlays, and velvet gowns. Until this moment, adornment had been kept to a minimum, but soon took over the show as dozens of looks emerged covered in jewel-toned geometric prints, feathered embroidery, gilded brocade, and lavish 3-D leaf appliqués. The closing looks were primarily responsible for raising the audience to its feet at the end of the show, as regality ruled an array of jaw-dropping dresses that showcased the brand’s deft ability to weave history into the modern style epoch. A Roman soldier’s uniform was translated into an embossed leather dress with a topskirt made from lashings of leather strips, while a muted sheer gown sprouted sheaves of wheat. In the shadow of Roman antiquity, this presentation was an opulent homage to the Eternal City.
Photos: Courtesy of Imaxtree