Friday, 30 January 2009

Déjà vu


Yesterday saw Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Picciolo debut their first collection for Valentino in Paris. 

The collection definitely pleased the houses' namesake Valentino Garavani, who leapt from front his seat in front row to applaud:

"They did a very good job. It is a collection that is perfect for this very moment.  It was quite emotional to see all myclothes, done by these people who loved me for 12 years, and they are really sensational. They were always staying with me during my fittings of haute couture.”

Feel like you've seen elements of the collection before? According to, the general feeling amongst the fash pack was that the show paid homage to the 'Valentino archive'  and the design duo failed to make a stamp on the house and did not take on the responsibility of moving the house forward. 

After seeing the collection I feel completely different. I loved the cream suits with the beautiful stand up collars, and the draped dresses and ruffle detailing on the ensembles. The jewel tones in red and aubergine were beautiful and classic but very cautious compared to the extravagant nature of the Valentino house. What more of a development is that. The designs moved away from the over-the-top excessive nature of the house, without compromising on the craftsmanship and detail we all love and expect from a couture show. I honestly think this is a positive mood for the house. The dresses and suits were very elegant and classic making it very relevant in the light of the current economic climate. 

Is it right of us to be so critical of the design duo so early into their job at Valentino? I don't think so. It reminds me of Frida Giannini's first few season's at Gucci. Wasn't she criticized in the same way for trying to copy Tom Ford's aesthetic at Gucci? Her recent success at Gucci is a far cry from this early criticism. I say, give them a chance to find their feet. Critics should save judgment and allow the duo to find their own comfort zone in the brand. 

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