You might have vaguely heard about young privileged folk taking a grand tour to complete their education as a rite of passage in the 18th century. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli took us on an imaginary grand tour where Italy was the focus. Of course, where Valentino is concerned, all things lead to Rome – and whilst the collection was rooted in Roman classicism, we also got to travel and pick up souvenirs of pyschedelic floral motifs, an explosion of graphic scarf prints and an ethereal under the sea exploration. Travel frees the mind and clearly Chiuri and Piccioli’s creativity, as their flights of fancy ran riot in nearly 80 looks.
Under the sea…:
In New York, Rodarte had punk mermaids and in London Ryan Lo also took us on a Splash! memory trip. It’s only one part of Chiuri and Piccioli’s expansive and sumptuous travel tale but towards the end, when seaplant metallic embroidery started to appear alongside faded seabed prints on airy chiffon dresses, you couldn’t help but see a pattern emerging. No, not a trend – that’s too banal a word. Just a few leftfield designers that want to take a swim in a mysterious ocean and see what they find.
Stand out pieces:
Chiuri and Piccioli don’t seem to see the notion of ready-to-wear as any boundaries to craftsmanship as they layered up feathers and cut organza into intricately embroidered floral formations. Virginal white eyelet lace also formed a beautiful bridal trousseau, that underscored why Chiuri and Piccioli have been so successful in seducing dreamer girls with their prim ‘n’ pretty frocks.
The soundtrack to Valentino SS15: