Ornate, luxe and elite, for their Spring 2014 collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli gave Valentino/fashion admirers everywhere something they’ll be talking about through February. Taking inspiration from the couture type of techniques found within the Roman opera, they drifted far away from simplicity and dove head first into a world of gothic romanesque fairytale – think Repunzel meets Joan of Arc.
While so many designers went with light and airy, neutral and simple, other than a quick stint of tailored basics, the Valentino brand opted out. Opposite of modest, mosaics of heavily embroidered and embellished patterns entranced our senses from beginning to end. Sewn onto dress coats, gowns and even separates, the kaleidoscope of shapes were so picturesque you immediately envisioned medals of honor rather than the simple threads they were actually formed from as they trickled down the runway in an endless stream of colors and patterns. The high necklines, long sleeves and floor sweeping hems (that this twosome is becoming known for) also defied the skin-baring runways of Spring ’14. However, with panels of precisely placed lace we were allowed a peek-a-boo of flesh from time to time buried within flowing maxi-skirts and youthful cocktail dresses.
The individual details and hand sewn qualities that are intrinsic to a Valentino collection were loud and pronounced providing a sense of grandeur this season. Rich fabrics like suede, lace, satin and silk were given a Spring twist, displayed as mini-dresses, high-waisted shorts and fringe accented coats making them the perfect year-round garment. There were eye-catching medallion prints that were scattered on trousers and woven tops while royal hues of deep purple, midnight blue, gold and hunter green broke up the busyness with sleek monochromatic gowns.
As the show came to a close, Chiuri and Piccoli shut it down with a copious display of intertwined lace and embroidered floor length gowns that transported us back in time to roman catholic emperors and knights in shining armor. With 72 intoxicating looks, it’s hard to play favorites, especially when so many of them let us envision becoming old-school princesses in this fast-paced modern world.
See some of our Valentino favorites available now: