A pianist was playing compositions by John Cage and Philip Glass, as a stream of girls dressed as dancers going to and from rehearsals and performances walked past her on the runway. The Valentino show this month was an ode to the Ballet Russes, or more specifically, the modern dance movement and its “happenings,” but for Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, it was also a deeper commentary on slowing down and living in the moment. “We always think fashion is cultural, not just about delivering clothes,” said Chiuri. “We want this show to be about living your moments, feeling each moment uniquely. I really love fashion. This job we do is a good opportunity to describe the time we’re in.”
You can read into that, the designers’ abstract response to the speed of digital information and the new hue, and cry over the rush to make everything in fashion available to buy the minute it’s seen. If anyone stands as a shining example of doing the opposite, it’s these two. No matter what theme runs through their collections, the important thing is the phenomenal success they’ve built by letting a recognizable identity develop over the years, and never skimping on the skill that goes into making their uniquely beautiful clothes. Exploring the worlds of Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Diaghilev, and the Ballets Russes brought up the imagery of dancers’ warm-up clothes, the layering of dresses and tutus over sweaters and footless tights, coats tossed over stagewear on the way home from theater, and of a whole corps de ballet of fragile, glitter-sprinkled tulle costumes for the grand finale.
In a season when few designers have thought about eveningwear, the huge variety of jeweled and crystal-embroidered nude-color tulle dresses, with their high necklines and delicate-yet-decent transparencies, will surely add even more to Valentino’s surging profits, although they are not news from this house. The beam of the fashion spotlight always searches out the avant-garde and the different and this season it picked out the simpler, more flowing shapes; the fluid jersey dresses; and the extraordinary things in chartreuse, bottle green, and champagne-color silk velvet. Among the long, slim coats, all immaculately tailored, it was again the “outlier” fabrics that jumped out a trench in black leather, an edge-to-edge raincoat in slick burgundy patent.
Enjoy the VALENTINO F/W 2016/17 RTW runway show at the end of this post!
Selections by ANDREA JANKE Finest Accessories
Photo Credit/Source: The House of VALENTINO
Photos by Yannis Vlamos/ Indigital.tv
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The pièce de la résistance was in green velvet brocade, worn by the redheaded model Irina Kravchenko it had a train, and a sheer bodice on which the pattern of the brocade had been cut out and reappliquéd. It was one of those completely stunning dresses that will lodge in the memory of haute couture highs.