Rome. Home of Fendi, which showed it's one-off collection of Haute Fourrure the day before, and to Valentino's ateliers where the diabolically romantic and elaborate confections of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaola Piccioli. It was also where they decided to pay Homage to the eponymous master himself, Valentino Garavani, and in effect, to both of their own Italian heritage. What transpired happened to enrapture those that seen it in it's live form. Seeing the video and not being there in the magical space of the Piazza Mignanelli might have dulled the sensation of breathlessness for me, but all I can say is that, as obviously majestic and creatively exquisite this collection was, it was dreadfully, much of the same we've come to expect from the house with little variant of any kind.
The bloom has been off the proverbial Rose for Chiuri's and Piccioli's penitent, virginal, faux naïf vision for the house for quite some time now, and what has happened is that the collections suffer, morosely, from a sameness, that to say is dulling, would be to far too kind a degree of understatement! The duo's work has almost become as predictable as a Metronome, with the same painfully boring sense of repetition to boot. This collection, filled to bursting with glorious works of Alta Moda, could also double for any of the last 6 collections from the house! The high necklines, the sheer tulle and lace, the plodding, leaden floor sweeping hems, the monastic sense of restraint... all present and accounted for plus a few other tropes that have made the rounds.
Were there Dazzlers that stood out among the pack? Certainly. The show ending sextet of limpid, scandalously sublime Black Velvet gowns were heady fodder indeed, and there were others, however, those pieces still hearkened back to work that they have done already, so going into detail would be to reiterate praise that has been given before. As a celebratory return to Mother Roma... The collection was a thrilling success, I can't in any good conscience say that even as repetitive as it is, that most of the pieces were Fantastically Extraordinary. But leave with this thought... As good as Chocolate Cake is... No one wants to eat an entire one, Correct? That is the equivalent of what Chiuri and Piccioli have been serving... One Hideously Rich and Lavish Chocolate Cake after another... Honestly... At this point... I am in the mood for some Gelato. Aren't you?