This Is Valentino Like You Have Never Seen Valentino Before – Guaranteed

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Since the guidelines for haute couture, sanctioned by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, are rather rigid, many couture collections tend to repeat themselves. Classic red-carpet gowns, lavishly embellished and beautifully made, are the main attraction at Paris Haute Couture Week. Occasionally, a rare deviation from the expected comes along, and it is always a welcome relief.

Valentino took home the prize in originality this season, with one of the most outré collections the maison has done in recent memory. It was over-the-top, way over-the-top, à la Viktor & Rolf or John Galliano’s Dior of yesteryear, but in the most delightful and alluring way possible. It made fashion exciting, and unpredictable, due in large part to the fact that Valentino had – point-blank – never done a collection that looked like this before, and everyone who laid eyes on it wanted more.

Valentino Spring 2018 Couture
Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

It all started with the hats – mega-creations done by the master milliner himself, Philip Treacy, rendered in candy-colored, feathery forms. The dual whimsy and audacity of the hats sent a frisson of thrill through the audience upon first sight. What other magnificent moments were coming around the bend?

A collection that was downright exhilarating.

Where couture collections are typically created for the red-carpet crowd, Valentino bucked tradition. Here were massive silhouettes, some outfitted with outsized bows, huge sashes, or cascading ruffles. There were immense opera coats and capes, wide-leg trousers, coordinated separates decorated with clashing floral prints, and a palette of huge, bold colors. Unpredictability in fashion is a rare thing, indeed, especially at a house with such a well-honed aesthetic. Flying solo, Pierpaolo Piccioli proves to have more tricks up his sleeve than previously thought, evidenced by a collection that was downright exhilarating.

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