Runway Report: Valentino SS16 Couture

This season Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli unveiled an ethereal collection that was inspired by designer Mariano Fortuny who was a fashion rebel known for his love of pleats. Piccioli explained backstage that for their 2016 collection pleats were kept ‘imperfect’ because they were done by hand. “In imperfection,” he said, “you can feel the human touch that stimulates the other senses, not only the eyes.”

From the opening look – a white gown featuring velvet embroidered butterflies and petals which took over 1,300 hours of work – there is no doubting the craftsmanship of a Valentino piece. Column dresses, Japanese kimono-style coats and overlapping tunics were decorated with animal patterns, embroidery and encrusted jewels. Grecian designs shined through in the draping and wrapped waistlines, which were completed with serpent inspired headwear.

Semi-sheer chiffons, plunging necklines and beaded kaftans worn with nothing underneath meant that there was plenty of skin on show, and yet the overall effect was one of honesty and serenity.

The earthy tones of the collection, dark mossy green, deep burgundy, rich creams and flecks of gold epitomized the vision of a free and independent woman finding “earthly contact” in a chaotic world. The lack of footwear, ankles adorned only with gold cuffs, also played on the idea of being in touch with nature.

About the Author

Having started her career in New Zealand as a fashion and beauty assistant, she then moved on to edit the online beauty magazine, BeautyBible. Since then she has created her own blog, The Refined Edit. Now based in the United Kingdom she has contributed to countless print and online publications including Style.com/Arabia. Follow her musing on Twitter and Instagram @gracieastewart.