Ruffles, Feathers, and Rainbow Stripes Make a Big Impact at Valentino

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Pierpaolo Piccioli’s massive volumes at Valentino have developed into something of a brand signature. Every celebrity who wears a Valentino number ends up stealing the spotlight, from Lady Gaga at the Venice Film Festival and Tracee Ellis Ross at the Emmys to Frances McDormand at the Oscars. Sailing down the expanse of the red carpet in double-wide gowns covered in immense feathers or intimidating ruffles, the wearer, in her outsized proportions, is transformed into a mythical creature. With mega-volume as Valentino’s most identifiable silhouette, we’ve come to expect it as a catwalk constant, and Piccioli did not disappoint for Spring/Summer 2019 – although he did shave down the volume a bit.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

Elegant pleating led to a phenomenal finale of gowns.

This time around, Valentino’s collection launched in an all-black lineup, starting with legendary former supermodel Kristen McMenamy walking out first in an immense off-shoulder look. An array of noir looks followed, from short-wide mini dresses to lace suits. Not to be outshined by the clothes, accessories also took on gigantic proportions, with straw hats that obscured the face and huge totes made from carved leather leading the pack. Piccioli also experimented with a new logo, splashing a huge (V) symbol across feather sweaters and nylon parkas.

A monochrome selection that mixed business separates with streetwear staples soon gave way to a vivid burst of prints in a broad range of clashing and complementary hues. There were turquoise wallpaper prints upholstered onto maroon dresses and tourmaline-pink pajamas topped with elegant cobalt-blue capes, to name a few options. Also in the mix, we enjoyed Valentino’s baroque embellished minis with balloon sleeves, the sequined tea frocks trimmed with feathers, and a prismatic array of chevron-striped rainbow dresses. Elegant pleating also led to a phenomenal finale of gowns. We can’t wait to see how these looks are inevitably worn on the red carpet.

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