Monday, 2 February 2009

Roving Reporter: Valentino, Post-Facchinetti

Mr Garavani stepped down. Alessandra Facchinetti stepped up and then was tossed right back down.

When former Valentino accessory designers Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri took over as head of the fashion line this season, they must have known it would be make or break. But after the lights came up for their show at the Sorbonne, many an editor decided they didn't do enough.

That's not to say Piccioli and Chiuri lacked strength or trampled lineage. This cream-coloured skirt suit with a Valentino rose at the neck and the gorgeously texturised three-quarter sleeve trench are hardly scoff-worthy. Still, the house has done it before, and couture week is supposed to bring surprises.

Exercises in tiers also turned out well, as seen in a beige pleated skirt and a mauve-satin one-shouldered evening dress perfect for the red carpet.

Yet again we see the bow-as-closure trend, with a smart bolero capping a slinky earth-tone number. I'd like to see it dressed up with a bolder lip and some rich-looking bangles.

The designers went for some sparkle to perk up their collection. Notice Exhibit A, a feathery mini-dress that could transition to the world of professional Latin dancing, and Exhibit B, an awards-season gown that would be gorgeous on someone like Jessica Alba.

The best dress of the day, in my opinion, was this high-necked, high-slit stunner. In classic Valentino red, it would pop in a spread for any high-fashion glossy.

Piccioli and Chiuri should receive praise for turning out a solid collection at a line that's been through its share of bumps, but the industry will continue to scrutinise them until the brand stabilises.

Until then, here's another question for the fashion crowd: Why, not long after race became a talking point with the all-black Italian Vogue issue, was Chanel Iman the only non-white model at the show?

And it's not just at Valentino. Maybe I'm looking to find fault, but the runways don't seem so diverse to me.

1 comment:

  1. pretty collection, not groundbreaking though. Very Valentino, but its their first collection! They wanted to play safe, they couldn't eradicate the history of a house!


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