Valentino Changes Course, but Keeps the Drama for Spring 2020 Couture

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Hollywood is obsessed with Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino. Frances McDormand wore a massive aquamarine gown, complete with a feathered headdress to the 2018 Met Gala. Lady Gaga preferred Valentino for two high-profile events; she wore a feathered pink gown to the 75th Cannes Film Festival and a voluminous lilac haute couture gown to the 2019 Golden Globes. And who could forget Gemma Chan’s hot-pink Valentino moment at the 2019 Academy Awards? Clearly, the A-list is attracted to the high-octane drama provided by Piccioli’s powerful silhouettes and vivid palettes.

While airy, enveloping volumes have become a distinct calling card for Valentino – inspiring legions of imitators across the fashion industry – Piccioli has started to shift away from the look. Valentino Spring 2020 Couture signaled a change at the house, but what was still evident in the collection was a penchant for Hollywood glamour. This time around, silver screen sirens were channeled into a variety of mermaid  gowns and wiggle dresses, worn with elbow-length gloves and Babe Paley-inspired bouffants.

Photo: Courtesy of Imaxtree

With this gobsmacking Spring 2020 Couture collection, Hollywood’s love affair with Valentino has every reason to continue at fever pitch.

With scaled-back silhouettes, and billowing taffetas traded for smooth satin surfaces, the collection felt more streamlined – but no less impactful for its vibrant palette and prints. Architectural “volants” or ruffled flourishes resembling wings created jutting peplums on classic gowns, massive bows tied off the corners of sleeveless columns, and blouson sleeves filled the air around the model’s arms. Volume was there, just in a different form. 

There were some astonishing visuals in store, like a glittering cobalt-blue gown that hewed close to the lines of the body before exploding into a swirl of skirt from the thigh down. Model Hannelore Knuts wore the hell out of a stunning red chiffon and organza gown, replete with a towering coral headdress inspired by the Valentino Capri show from 1967. Adut Akech closed the show in a stunning eruption of flamingo-pink feathers. The hits just kept coming. With this gobsmacking Spring 2020 Couture collection, Hollywood’s love affair with Valentino has every reason to continue at fever pitch.

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