In their final collection together as a creative couple designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli presented a fall/winter 2016 Valentino haute couture collection of Shakespearian proportions.
In fact, it was hard not to make a correlation between the duo and the ill-fated love story of Romeo and Juliet with the soundtrack from Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation filtering into the show venue and the voice of his Romeo, Leonardo DiCaprio, wistfully reciting the bard’s prose.
After more than two decades working together, this collection beautifully showed what a symbiotic relationship the duo had built over the years. The seamless beauty of this show, which was created to mark the 400-year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, faultlessly displayed every facet of what has made this pair such a brilliant partnership.
Valentino haute couture fall-winter 2016
The puritanical precision of refined, embellishment-free, designs that let the cloth, cut and color speak for themselves as well as the choice to go with an austere Elizabethan starting point worked perfectly with this esthetic. But the duo’s mastery of ornamentation was not forgotten. One beaded and embroidered shimmering tapestry coat had the usually blasé fashion crowd applauding their appreciation. And the duo even underlined their ability to capture the sartorial air du temps by fashioning a large portion of the lineup in graphic black and white, which was one of the biggest trends of the couture season.
Valentino haute couture fall-winter 2016
Some might argue that the collection felt more appropriate for the stage of a theater, and it’s true that these two love to create theatrical clothing. But as the throngs of Valentino clients that came pouring into the show venue wearing some of the pairs most elaborate looks proved, there is a real market for designs that have a poetic soul, an imaginative eye and a heart filled with love.
With Chiuri moving on and Piccioli remaining to run Valentino, the pair might end up being fashion’s own star-crossed lovers. Here’s hoping that they will continue to inspire and motivate each other from afar. Their combined artistry could even be powerful enough to galvanize the industry, which is currently in the throes of fundamental transformation. Maybe these two, each now with their own fashion house to run, will finally show us the way forward.
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