As is always the case at Maison Valentino, there is such a prolific amount of things going on, that there are oft times when it's Design Duo, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli offer TOO Much and there becomes a Glut of an Extraordinarily dense caliber. Spring 2015 was all too much the case of such an Indulgence, the most distressing part being, that much of what they offered wasn't all that great! Such is the problem with Superfluity. If one is not careful and very exacting, the runaway Zeal of such Profusion engenders Tedium and not everything will be as exciting and brilliant as concentrating on a smaller scale.
For the Valentino show, this sense of the Extraneous set in early. After a Delightful start in Indigo, Chiuri and Piccioli went HOG WILD for Orgiastically incorporating multiple, Outrageously lurid Foulard prints in such a Confusingly Hideous manner that not only did ones mind Boggle from the Excessive lack of Visual Relief, but the eye simply went into Hysteric Blindness from the Overwhelming Corneal Overdose of colour and pattern and print! It in small doses was Enchanting... In the Hedonistic Globs that Chiuri and Piccioli served up, it was Nauseating. And THEN, Immediately following, as if not already Submersed in Sartorial Hyper-stimulation, out they galloped minute Three-Dimensional flower and feather embroideries that looked like a Kaleidoscope of a Madman! More to the point, they were Drab and Joyless. After the Carnival like exuberance of the prints that preceded these pieces, this served to give a Schizophrenic atmosphere to the clothes.
For a Brief. Beautiful, Shining moment there was Relief! EXQUISITE Relief! In the form of Refreshing Pure White Broderie Anglaise... It was Delicious! But all to soon it was over and we were in an Ice Cream shop after Dropping a couple tabs of Windowpane. Melting Neapolitan Ice Cream swirls and whorls of more Eyelet should have been refreshing, it turned out more to be not so much that at all! It wasn't NOT Pretty, it just continued in the Stimulus Overload that was already seeping in Hard and Thick, And the eye needed more of a Respite than this section was capable of providing. Excised from the throng of what had gone before... It still didn't work you into a Lather, but it was more acceptably Soothing to the Retina.
After generously using our Fashion Machete to Whack through the Thicket, we arrived on that Pleasant Shore of Soothing, yet Elaborately worked, Linen that was so Intensely detailed with Excruciatingly Painstaking Cutwork to produce what looked to be Lace, That whatever had transpired beforehand was virtually totally forgiven! It looked breezy, bohemian, carefree until you looked up close and saw all the Tortuous detail that went into these Offhandedly Dainty and Delicately Fragile looking pieces! From this point forwards, we hit the homestretch and were offered Some Release and Relaxation of the overdone and Extraneous... with the exception of a return of those Drab ass Feather embroidered pieces that should have been excised like the tumors they were!
The headlong plunge towards the Finale gifted the viewer with some Treasures, A trio of Satin Gowns in Garnet, Sapphire and Ecru, Embroidered with Coral Branches or a Seahorse were Naive Masterpieces that were true to the Valentino Aesthetic, Whilst now Washed-Out Pastel versions of those Foulard prints from earlier soothed the eye rather than assail it. Although, it was the final procession of Characteristically Waifish, Ingenue Chiffon gowns printed with Aquatic themes from Ships to Coral to Starfish and Seashells that anchored the entire endeavour. They gave an overall Ondine-like effect to the Beauteous garments. The best example though was something that took it's inspiration it seemed more from Gypsy Provenance, a Purple Scarf print gown with a Beaded lace overlay At Exit No. 64. RAVISHING! Also of Note, the Exquisitely Ethereal Seafoam Green Sequin plated dress with the barest, filmy Pull-on Ballerina skirt in Tulle... it had an almost Roman Goddess Diana the Huntress effect! Luminous!
Chiuri and Piccioli's Own Zest for the Richly detailed can often times be their undoing, as was the case in the first half of this show, it bogged the collection down unnecessarily and looked Gaudy and Gauche... It's part of their Magic to push the boundaries of their craft and investigate every Vestige of the theme that is inspiring them, but they could transcribe some of the Wise Old Gal Coco Chanel's Advice into their formula... her Insight, Look in the Mirror and take one thing off... The Valentino duo need to look at the collection and sometimes take quite a FEW things off... In the end, it will only serve to enhance their Brilliance, not dull the Lustre!