Valentino S/S 2010 / PFW / Day seven

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli seem to have found their footing at Valentino. Their spring outing disclosed a design vocabulary that was every bit as feminine as Mr. Valentino’s vision and possibly more romantic. It was a beauty.

Chiuri and Piccioli said they wanted to convey “a fairy tale, like a fragile figure walking through an enchanted garden,” but one with a hint of danger. It makes sense, then, that their inspiration boards were rich with “Alice in Wonderland” imagery. A dusty palette of wilted colors — blush, gray, nude — had the desired twilight effect. Soft organza dresses, light yet structured, spilled with petals and ruffles done in every imaginable way, and so did gorgeous bags and shoes, some of the latter done by hat maestro Philip Treacy. Many styles followed a vague pinafore construction — big bows in the back — that nodded toward the Looking Glass without skewing childish.

That said, the collection addressed a younger audience with shorts and rompers, both suited to evening. In fact, all of it was. There was a void in the collection in the absence of clothes for working, lounging, or lunching life. “Special daywear” was how Chiuri and Piccioli described the few lace and tulle pants and shorts and “T-shirts,” rendered from an elaborate mesh of lace, ruffles and embroidery. Whatever they’re calling them, few people have use for such confections before cocktail hour. Still, when the clock strikes, there’s a wardrobe waiting to take these women into the elegant night.

© by WWD / Photos by Giovanni Giannoni

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