Haute Couture SS19: Valentino

A TRIUMPH of intrepid colour, a flurry of watercolour chiffon and a homage to everything we love about Valentino, Pierpaolo Piccioli created a walking garden in the salons of Salomon Rothschild’s former townhouse.

Taking the motif of flowers, Piccioli’s collection bloomed. The designer reimagined the classic techniques and adornments perfected by Valentino himself and translated the picturesque femininity of ballgowns, ruffles and tapestry florals into couture apposite for today.

The show opened with a model in a neon pink wrap skirt coupled with a rosette-adorned Duchesse satin headdress, only a hint to the spectacle that was about to start.  What followed was a spell of dreamy gossamer cabbage roses, corollas and poppies printed onto airy chiffon that floated down the runway.  A vision of vividness and elegance.

A celebration of grace, beauty and diversity, Piccioli designed his collection with the intention of redefining couture for women of colour. The rich tones and shades exemplified the designer’s mastery of colour as he claims, “You don’t invent colour, but you can invent new harmonies for colour.”

Whether it were the serendipitous combination of emerald gabardine trousers, a chocolate blouse and a contrast-lined rose macaron pink coat, the mauve roped robe draped over an olive shirt dress and cyan trousers or the neon orange trousers partnered with a plumed oyster top fitted with a train, Piccioli stayed true to his word. Even the solid colours paraded via the capacious ballgowns of Matisse blue ruffles, amethyst taffeta and fuchsia budellini left the attendees in awe and wonderment.

As models sashayed down the runway, some were framed by chiffon and organza ruffles, while others fluttered their feathered Pat McGrath eyelashes and flaunted their floral face paint. As though straight out of a fairytale, Piccioli created a charm of flower fairies, each delicate yet powerful.

The show closed with its most arresting piece: a sheer black taffeta-ruffled gown, a piece devoid of colour worn by Naomi Campbell. As her gown swept and swayed down the runway, we were once again reminded of the sagacity of Valentino. The collection was transcendent: a celebration of flawless artistry, fearless colour and flamboyant gowns. The layers of metallic lace, flowing ruffles and hand-crafted stockings furthered the lyricism and beauty of haute couture.

Whilst the bitter winter drags on, Piccioli transported us to the garden of Maison Valentino which as always, is blossoming.

by Robyn Ngan

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