In my next life, if I am very, very good in this one, I am coming back as Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli’s Valentino woman. Their summer 2012 collection for the house they took over only three years ago was a swoonfest of gorgeous dresses from start to finish.
Valentino is a house that with glamour of the grandest kind in its DNA. Maria Grazia and Pier Paolo’s skill lies in softening that grandeur and modernizing the glamour. Like opening up a venerable stately home, they have managed to retain all the character and spirit, but make it feel relaxed to the point where you wouldn’t feel self conscious sitting cross legged on the floor.
Dresses with gently flared skirts, softly curved waists, neat shoulders and pockets which the models used in practically every elegant saunter down the runway came in exquisite lace, glace leathers and featherlight organzas.
The pair paid tribute to the founder of the house with a strapless sheath in Valentino’s favourite red but styled with flat shoes and a deep frilled hem, it looked as relaxed as a (super-chic) t shirt. Then they took the same shape and worked it into a two piece over wide legged trousers with a hip length shoulder bag and in one deft and almost unimaginable move, Bond Street went bohemian.
From the frill hemmed organza dresses with gently puffed shoulder line and long sleeves, decorated with wispy sprigs of hand painted flowers to the perfectly simple knee length cotton lace dresses with cap sleeves and bell shaped skirts, this collection was a romantic feminine fantasy. And from the jeans queens to the modern minimalists, there wasn’t a time pressed, deadline stressed woman in my seating section who wasn’t gasping for it.
- Paula Reed in Paris