Paris Haute Couture S/S 2018: Valentino

A typical haute couture, imagined for present times, has to be intriguing and impressive. Made of bows, of glamour, and of refined materials such as taffetas and moiré, Valentino haute couture collection for Spring/Summer 2018 designed by Pierpaolo Piccioli is all that— and more. “In a virtual era characterized by technological acceleration, it gives me pride and makes me feel full of hope keeping alive the Atelier in Rome which I consider a true artists studio”, stated Piccioli. “I know and I admire all the people who work there. I am very touched by their stories. Behind their hands, behind their technical skills, I see human stories. The same stories which have the power to change clothes.” The collection, entirely crafted in Rome, transfers knowledge and values through time. An ivory and apple green double cashmere sweatshirt with giant anemone patchwork print, lace applications, encrustations and embroidery gives the emotions of the human touch, of stories, of people. Persuasive lightness of each look dematerialized and elevates. Each outfit tells a different, yet complementary story.

‘Rocco’ is a look of present times— the chinos and the trench immensely personal yet present, worn with a headpiece designed by milliner Philip Treacy. The ‘Elide’ taffeta cape dress is maxi in volume, but light to the touch. ‘Rosella’, a purple and lilac double face wool cape worn over a mint green top and purple pants evokes timeless beauty— a couture vision based on its origin. The first look, ‘Oriana’, is a maxi cape with ruffles worn over a crêpe de chine chemise and wool pants. Then came the gowns. Piccioli revisited an iconic red gown by Valentino Garavani, with his interpretation of present day. The gown named ‘Floriana’ has 275 handmade petals layered in organza. The ‘Irene’ gown is made with 1,500 metres of black tulle and 700 hand applied gauze and crêpe drops. Piccioli illustrated handcraft as a horizon and a value. The ‘Rita M.’ is a dress of days gone by, but not nostalgic, capturing the sense and magic of haute couture in a personal way with volumes that expand, yet are full of lightness. Lastly, the final look of the collections embodies the work of the Atelier as an art of time, a continuous dialogue between the one who imagines and the one who completes. ‘Giada’, an emerald faille and organza oversize cape, is worn over a black silk slip with floral applications. Treacy designed the matching headpiece, as well as all of the head accessories of the show.

Photo credit: The Impression