spring couture collections: valentino

by Jeremy Danté

restrained & simplified, the SS11 haute couture collection presented by the house of valentino was an interesting one to say the least. under the creative direction of maria grazia chiuri and pier paolo piccioli, a redefinition of the milan headquartered fashion house has been presented each season, defying expectation & ultimately keeping us guessing as a fashion audience. as an iconic association with the house of valentino, use of red is almost a requirement of some form & here slightly modified uses were seen. the world of haute couture thrives in wild imagination & extreme, over the top glamour- couture clients go for the drama. this season, a controlled intensity almost sizzles at the root, so as to no jolt you in your seat like other collections that were presented this season; more specifically the classical glamour of dior, the romanticism of elie saab & the theatricality of gaultier. a valued opportunity is presented to fashion houses during couture season, you’re given a chance to think outside of the box, to push the limitations of whats considered wearable & here, those risks were not recognize or entertained at all. as a lover of all things simple, i enjoyed the collection- it’s clean lines & soft details allow you to want to take a closer look while you’re gently rocked by the lullaby of textiles that blew across the runway. much like any other lullaby, you can easily fall asleep. those same emotions are felt for this collection. i had expected a bold concept or risk to be taken, like seasons past but it seems as though the creative reigns of the house are being pulled back too far. nothing distinguishes this collection, clearly, from what we see from the house for their ready-to-wear collection, despite the fact that what is seen here is beautiful. soft details amount to redundancy in contrast to the other fashion houses of the season. that & still, i like the collection enough to appreciate & recognize it’s beauty; i also fully recognize the importance & possibility to stretch beyond that.

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