Seeing as Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have had an Operatic approach to Alta Moda at the house of Valentino from nearly the get-go. Once they settled into their niche that Operatic connotation has never been stronger, so it would beg little thought that the Valentino Dynamic Duo would finally seek out that exact forum for Inspiration for their 2014 Haute Couture Collection. Chiuiri and Piccioli's Minute attention to detail was brought into vivid relief here in obeisance to the theme, but it also caught them at times making too much of the grandiose gesture and some of the outfits simply were weighed down under the mantle of their own munificence!
Starting out with something more refreshing rather than hearty, the opening gown in gossamer White Tulle and Organdy, was embroidered with the Score of Puccini's "Tosca" announcing with the utmost fanfare, that the Duo was channeling The great Italian Tradition of Opera. In Fifty-Five Exits Various Operas were envisaged in Fabric, From "La Boheme" to "Aida" And more. Now, being that this was one of the Most Outrageously Beautiful collections the pair have conjured up, In it's excess it wobbled the line of Schizophrenia and stumbled more than once into the incoherent. Par Example, Exit No. 2 was, while inventive, Sexy, By Valentino terms, it was also Confusingly unwearable in the extreme! A Contrast to the Delicate, Fragile nature of the first outfit to be sure then comes Schizo Moment No. 1... Exit No. 3 was quite possible one of the most Heart Bursting pieces of Couture Ever Produced... there were other moments of this teetering back and forth betwixt Stunning and Head Scratching, Thankfully not too many, but enough to get one wondering...
Another lovely development today, The injection of some Bona Fide Day Outfits. There was an over abundance of Frilly, Frothy, Feathery and Sheer goings on... not a doubt, and the criticism of for the past few years of practically showing no Day outfits from a House like VALENTINO... which was one of the BASTIONS of Couture Day Luxe could easily be levied against the two head designers. Mayhaps they are tapping more into the heritage of the house now and have found their way... something though tells me not to count on it!
Firstly, the Day outfits were a couple of Coats in Deep Grey Felted Doubleface Cashmere with Animals and Flora and Fauna Intergrated into the material via Inserts of cutouts, Meticulous and Painstaking, I am sure. But achieved with a Deft lightness to be envied! Later, proper Day wear in Raw Silk in colours of Blonde and Ore, Some with Tassel Fringing worked into the mix. Then, more Schizo and a Moment of Utter Loveliness, A trio of Marocain Silk gown unadorned totally, All they had to show for themselves were their Immaculate cut. And, Oh Yes, Howdy, They were IMMACULATE! In Walnut, Carbon and Snow... They left one Breathless!
More Day Outfits followed in Animal Prints... As in the ENTIRE Animal, Lions and Leopards and Another Flawless unadorned moment on Grace Mahary in Khaki Green Cady at Exit No. 31. Showstopper! From here the usual Excellence plied by Chiuri and Piccioli was in clear, fetching effect! A Nutmeg coloured lace gown On Xiao Wen Ju at Exit No. 38, A Smoky Grey embroidered masterpiece in Duopion Silk at Exit No. 44, A Flutter of bare Blush Nude silk on Magdelena Jasek at Exit No. 47... And More Earthly Delights abounded in Chiuri and Piccioli's Opera Garden!
It was A Knockout affair, There were moments of utter confusion, but in the concluding notes of this Fashion Opera, The Valentino Duo hit the High C of Perfection with Clear, Clarion Voices! It will be exceptionally hard to top a Grandiose Spectacle such as this one, But... something tells me these Divas, Chiuri and Piccioli, still have some Exquisite Coloratura Arias Left in them!