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.
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.