2009 July 9
Valentino - Paris Haute Couture Fall 2009
(PARIS) The last two years at Valentino have been so turbulent that the corporate machinations have been talked-about while the clothing has been largely ignored. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli's inaugural couture collection aimed to quiet the Faccinetti loyalists and other assorted naysayers while bringing aesthetics back into the conversation. Judging from the chatter that began as guests exited the Couvent des Cordeliers and continued the next morning in waiting areas at Roissy, the duo succeeded. At Valentino, the couture ateliers are alive and well, and instead of a somber re-rendering of Garavani's garb, the new regime dared to offer its own perspective and propel the house into the future. Gone (mostly) were the draped gowns in perky brights, and instead, an angsty black and nude parade of complex confections made from tucked tulle, goth-y netting and matte beads. Flecks of gupere lace, appliquéd onto peekaboo netting, is the freshest (and most starlet-friendly) motif, and the most likely to foster the red-carpet dominance Valentino once enjoyed. Carlos Souza has plenty to work with, although these gowns will favor the heroic, happy few willing to work a lot of volume. But Piccioli and Chirui can rest assured--when it comes to this collection, buzz is back.
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