Valentino — Haute Couture S/S 2013

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccoli showed a ravishing collection for Valentino, expressed with extraordinary craftsmanship and dressmaking skills. The inspiration was a garden — a common touchpoint this season, but the designers interpreted it in a fresh way. Demure dresses were created with layer upon layer of nude organza, overlaid with scrollwork embroideries that suggested ornate ironwork gates. (It took over 500 hours to hand-roll the silk piping that created these stunning motifs — this is genuine Haute Couture). The show started with a floor-sweeping long-sleeved dress in nude organza, simply and beautifully decorated with the scrollwork motif in Valentino red. Several wearable separates and dresses in white followed, and then a cape appeared — sheer and floor-length, overlaid with black arabesques — evoking a round of spontaneous applause. The cape theme continued with minimalist dresses that incorporated cape-like panels. These gave way to more ornate items, like an ensemble with handmade lace ribbons placed in an allover zigzag pattern. The design duo also created clean, structured pieces with a nod towards the ladylike 50s with neat coats and dresses; the skirts hit at the knee, in materials that bounced down the runway. The show ended with a series of frothy evening gowns, one more delicate than the other in featherweight fabrics, ethereal embroideries and barely-there colors. “We really wanted to create a dream,” said Maria Grazia Chiuri. This was sublime. —Celia Ingesson

Silhouette: Bell shape / Structured / Full-skirted / Fit-and-Flare / Renaissance

Color: Valentino Red / Nude / White / Black / Flower pastels / Vintage / Champagne

Key Items: Cape dresses / Strapless cocktail dresses / Renaissance-shaped full-sleeved gowns / Fit-and-Flare Coat

Materials:  Silk Taffeta / Tulle / Guipure lace / Silk chiffon / Organza / Chantilly lace / Double weave silks

Print + Pattern: Flower and bird motifs / Ironwork scrolls / Decorative lace

Details + Trim: Piping used for appliqués and embroideries / Lace appliqués and inserts / Flower embroideries and appliqués / Tulle and lace overlays / Glass beads / Ruffles / High Necks / Bateau necks / Long sleeves

Accessories + Footwear: Pumps with pointy toe high heels covered in dress fabrics (lace, silks, sequin-embroidered)


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