VALENTINO SS2013 collection look at neo-realist Rome for inspiration: its spirit of change, the desire for reinvention, the dignity of composed yet sensual elegance. Awareness as a distinctive element of expression. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli personal memories are transposed to the present in a contemporary and introspective synthesis. Memory without nostalgia and imagination that looks back to the origins. Exploring local places and moments, the designers contextualize them in a global dimension, creating an aesthetic that is liquid and dazzling.
Sensuality is a fragile frisson perceived beneath well-defined lines. Couture creates a sense of authenticity. Clothes skim the body, which is never revealed: its curves are barely perceptible because suggestion is seduction. The silhouette is light, below-the-knee or long, with a slightly fitted waist. Forgotten gestures are rediscovered to suddenly appear surprisingly modern and timely: wearing a slip, creating a new language of shyness; wrapping oneself in an overcoat as gentle as a dressing gown; closing a long row of tiny buttons on a chemisier dress. Masculine and feminine blend on blouses and dresses covered with tiny beading.
There is a sense of rigor and composure in virginal polo shirts and suits with long skirts, in dresses that swathe the shoulders with trompe l’oeil capes and that protect the bodice beneath faux jackets. What appears firm actually has an airy quality: meticulous lines trace the outline of a slip on a long dress, while à jour trims embellish long robes. Like an oxymoron, layered elements surprisingly create lightness: an organza dress conceals its embroidered slip, a lace suit lightly lays over a tulle base, cutout motifs and dense colors dematerialize precious surfaces.
Fabrics such as chiffon, georgette, silk panama, cotton lace, printed lace and embroidered brocade intrigue both the eye and the hand. The color palette is intimist and tender: blush, ivory, and beige, splashes of geranium and rouge noir, touches of blue and black. Nuances of green, tobacco, mistletoe, and jade blend in camouflage effects.
Evocative and evanescent accessories include open-toe sling backs, transparent Mary Janes with plexiglass wedge heels and transparent minaudieres in colorful tones. Rediscovering the roots of their Roman heritage, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli create a captivating atmosphere. The final interpretation is left open, however: each woman’s personality is the defining trait.
Style as synthesis and a sense of ever-changing and never static balance, it subtract to achieve the positive purity of a sleek, distinct silhouette. They allow dreamy, incontrovertible color to prevail and they replace embellishment with texture on surfaces. Couture taste gets a juicy jolt of high voltage electricity. Condensed and simplified, the delicacy that is in Valentino’s DNA becomes incisive without being stiff and it comes alive with contrasts.
The concept combines deconstruction and reconstruction. It is the personal, unexpected assembly of these different objects that forges new trends. The focus is always on a spontaneous, unpredictable woman, not on the clothes she wears.
Precision and grace characterize the shapes with a Couture mood. Bows, ruffles, yokes, and lace – the mainstays of Valentino – have been reduced: emptied, liquefied, and offset with pops of color. The flowing silhouette gracefully reveals the figure but does not hug the body. Volumes are distinctive. Nonchalant precision and graphic modularity are recurring concepts. Chiffon tops are as easy as T-shirts and jumpsuits create lissome, sleek silhouettes. Corsets accentuate the look and are used as accessories or simple visual elements.
There is a continuous shift of stylistic elements. Lace is treated as a fabric and used as colorful, almost camouflage-like, intarsia on dresses and menswear-style jackets. Leather and lace trench coats blend delicacy with martial vigor. Dresses are made of cady with a chinos finish. Animal prints and stripes add deliberate dissonances and accentuate contrasts. On the other hand, long black georgette menswear-style shirts have an easy, laid back look. Evening dresses are worn under menswear overcoats and delicate embroidery creates mobile effects of light.