Valentino Does Artful Daywear for Spring/Summer 2017

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There have been a lot of break-ups in the world recently, but unlike Brangelina, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s split was amicable. Branching out into solo work for the brand for the first time, Piccioli steered a firm course through choppy waters as Chiuri’s shaky solo debut at Dior cast a pall of concern over Valentino’s presentation. He was calm despite the turmoil, and he cleverly crafted a gorgeous array of gowns that combined the surrealist works of Hieronymus Bosch and the riotous, colorful life of British designer Zandra Rhodes. By recasting Rhodes’ work on his runway and interpreting Bosch in a romantic, naive light, Piccioli established a theme of “women as individuals, not characters” according to the show notes.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

There was magic and majesty at the heart of this Valentino collection.

His fantasy collection came in a gorgeous palette of raspberry, pink sherbet, lipstick red, blush pink, and fuchsia, which pointed to his feminine direction. The first 20-odd looks were shown in embossed velvet patterns, soft drop-waist silhouettes, and both sunburst and scissor prints. From there, he etched Art Deco lines on lemon-yellow frocks and treated ladylike gowns to lovely micro patterns reminiscent of Bosch. One particularly beautiful gown in multi-colored pastel lace stole the show, as did a perfectly tailored floor-length gown in simple nude. There was magic and majesty at the heart of this Valentino collection, which underscored Piccioli’s singular vision and reassured the audience that the brand’s signature feminine finery wasn’t going anywhere.

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