Paris: After completing just three ready-to-wear seasons as co-designers of the house of Valentino, Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri have managed to bring back the mystique that the label had long lost. The transformation became official when hipster actress Chloë Sevigny chose a lavender Valentino for the Golden Globes in January. This is no longer your grandmother’s label. The design duo cited the underground films of Kenneth Anger as an inspiration this season, which accounted for the collection’s subtle baroque edge. Black and red leather pieces festooned with the master’s signature cascading flounces and pieced lace tops and dresses made for a darkly romantic mood, while still honoring the Valentino archives. The flounces decorated everything from dresses and skirts to suits and outerwear, but the designers’ hip aesthetic kept even the most bedecked pieces from feeling fussy. Piccioli and Chiuri have succeeded in garnering legions of new Valentino fans by performing the difficult balancing act of remaining true to the spirit of the house while simultaneously injecting it with new life.

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