An Elegant Case for the Column Gown at Valentino Spring 2017 Couture

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Piccioli’s Spring 2017 Couture collection for Valentino was a fragile, monastic tribute to strong women.

Although Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli are no longer joined at the hip, it is hard not to compare the two given their long history as design partners. Although we can never know what went on internally as Chiuri made her difficult decision to leave Valentino for Dior, her initial transition proved difficult when her first collection for Dior was critically panned. Piccioli came out the victor when his first solo show for Valentino was praised for both its emotion and its tremendous beauty. However, Spring 2017 Couture finds both Chiuri and Piccioli on firm footing, proving that it’s time to move on from the comparison game. They’re getting on just fine without each other.

Valentino Spring 2017 Couture
Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

Piccioli’s Spring 2017 Couture collection for Valentino was a fragile, monastic tribute to strong women – both real and imagined. Elegant column gowns bearing names like ‘Eurydice’ (named for the Greek nymph) moved with symphonic grandeur, and featured Fortuny pleats for ease of movement. The varieties of longline silhouettes were as many as a spring garden, offering up pristine surfaces, sheer overlays that the shownotes called ‘shirting’, and breezy embroidered separates. It was all very classic, unfussy, easy to move in, and not one bit pretentious, yet the way the clothes moved was spellbinding. Seriously, a photo on a website is not going to do them justice. To truly appreciate how well these clothes were cut and draped, you need to watch a video.

It was all very classic, unfussy, easy to move in, and not one bit pretentious, yet the way the clothes moved was spellbinding.

One tripwire is that Piccioli established his central idea early – elegant column gowns and longline separates – and refused to deviate from it, not even a little bit. The resulting effect was that the simpler looks were a little one-note. The collection could have been reduced by thirds for a more exciting edit.

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