Valentino AW16: Forget insta-fashion & disruption, this is the real deal

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Valentino AW16, pictures courtesy Vogue Runway

There’s been a lot of talk about ‘disruption’ (everyone’s favourite buzzword) this Fashion Month. We’ve heard about disruption of the seasonal calendar via insta-fashion initiatives. We’ve heard about how fashion’s newer wave has been disrupting the ready-to-wear system by doing couture (with a large dose of irony, of course). And we’ve heard about how some designers are totally disrupting fashion with ‘ground-breaking’ clothes that are actually quite difficult to wear!

But today, at the Valentino show, all we really heard about was beautiful clothes. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli informed us their collection was inspired by dance. The tutu-like silhouettes of some pieces made that obvious, as did the less formal ‘rehearsal’ pieces and the ribbon waist ties. But what this collection really focused on was beauty.

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Valentino AW16, pictures courtesy Vogue Runway

That’s beautiful materials, beautiful colours, beautiful decoration, beautiful fluidity, beautiful… well, you get the picture.

The muted greys, stark blacks and neutrals were a perfect palette for Valentino’s signature style. And the silhouettes (gently waisted or straight-but-soft) were about subtlety and style, not innovation. But they didn’t exactly feel dated either. This was luxury fashion with a modern (but not modernist) edge.

In a season not overloaded with eveningwear, that signature style is very evening-focused. But some of the more low-key pieces would work for daytime too, which means the collection will be pored over by anyone making smart daywear for contemporary customers, as well as those occasionwear and intimates specialists that regularly have Valentino on their watch lists.

Will Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli mind? Maybe. But somehow I think they know that while their look can be imitated, it’s hard to make anything that could beat the real thing.

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Valentino AW16, pictures courtesy Vogue Runway


One thought on “Valentino AW16: Forget insta-fashion & disruption, this is the real deal

  1. What I find strange is we are surprised when someone does beautiful clothes. So few designers want to make women look beautiful. Not glamorous, not sexy, just beautiful. I can count them on one hand. Even McQueen, once you looked past the technical feats and workmanship, wasn’t about beautifying women. I don’t think he actually liked women and it showed. I agree, this was a beautiful collection but then Valentino usually is. Chanel used to be before Karl got his fingerless gloves on it and added his weird sense of proportion which make women look lumpen and Hausfrau-ish. Coco Chanel understood what makes women feel beautiful. Sadly Karl doesn’t. At the end of the day I think we all buy what we buy because it flatters and makes us feel good. Partly why I don’t understand the appeal of Vetements weird proportions or JW Anderson’s “ugly” aesthetic. Nice post, thanks SH !!


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