Valentino Spring 2017 collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli look to Cuba. From the Caribbean island they catch its syncretism and a patina of decadent initimism, transfiguring them. Valentino’s Cuba is a condition of gaze and of thought, a goad and spur for a reflection on the meaning of time in a historic moment that has lost its trust in the future’s utopia and uses the past as a comfort and shelter zone. Time as value, that is seized on the surface of dresses. A métissage of iconographies and styles as a way of thinking of the aesthetic of oblivious present times with a precise awareness of one’s roots.
In Cuba, a place closed for years in a condition of autarchy that has seen it subtract itself from the evolution of present times, the Creative Directors recover the space of memory, a nucleus of an intense beauty because ephemeral and volatile. The perspective is intimate, somber, personal. The adopted method is the contamination of styles and culture. Using the unique savoir-faire and the craftsmanship of the Valentino Atelier as a distinctive sign, the collection acquires a moving patina that is the exact opposite of nostalgia. Forgotten in the same instant in which it is reminisced, the past gives life to the novelty.
Just like Cuba, a place where cultural amalgam is packed with vitality, the collection is a weaving of melodies that succeed and intersect, gorging it. Caribbean traces and Picassiani echoes, African memoires and a fifties atmosphere, Spain and Santeria, militarisms and opulent splendors are the ingredients of a fluid narration that once again places at the center the individuality of the woman.
The elongated silhouette leaves space to flashes of shortwear. White is the prominent chromatic note: in the shirts and in the grand skirts that honor the Cuban love for this lyrical non color. Butterflies, emblem of the island, settle on items with a military taste, while lace, macramé and brocades hint to tropical splendors of a by now far away apogee.
The deliberation on time suggests to a sanguineous exploration of red, central topos of the Valentino aesthetic, interpreted with visceral authenticity in a series of masculine shirts, skirts in taffetas laved by fringed hems, coats in dyed mink as if looking for the ultimate essence, rubra. Time becomes an ornament in the abundant embroideries, first abandoned and that then appear again on masculine skirts and shirts, or mutates in amass in the assembly of lace and prints.
Camouflage on cotton, the universal archetype, rotates in the maximum expression of individuality in the unisex items which are customized with stripes and figures, as luggage. The mix of tastes and styles is not familiar with the solution of continuity. Nothing is as it should be because time has had its day.
The contamination of signs and the reflection of time continues in the accessories. Santeria motifs are engraved on leather shoes and bags with a syncretistic spirit, seething up to the soles, whilst red overflows on Rockstud, renewing its spirit. An idea of memory characterizes the Valentino Garavani Cabana bags in leather or python, on which customized handles and Caribbean charms suggest personal interventions as a reminiscence and as a repossession.
On the Rockstud Spike bags, the iconic Valentino studs become tactile, dotting matelassé textures. The Rockstud Untitled project expands with new laundry and shopping bags. Exploring the value of time, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli bring together present and past in the name of individuality, looking towards the future.