Tag: pier paolo piccioli



PARIS – regular beauty was the main focus of this collection described as “sensual but severe” by one half of valentino’s creative directing duo, pier paolo picciolli. the house of valentino is one that i feel emotionally connected to, for some odd reason. especially now in the new modern era of the label, i identify so vividly with the way that they represent beauty in the form of fashion design. there is an elegance that is well executed, each season- but doesn’t look to dramatization, loud music or elaborate inspirations. it’s controlled, thoughtful & gradual. i say gradual in that, over the course of the last few years, valentino as a label has made such a valiant effort to compete in the ever changing atmosphere of high fashion. live streamed shows, modern concepts & a kardashian in the front row have all seemed to be intelligent ploys at elevating the label as a conversation piece. though the celebrity co-sign is not needed, in my opinion, it does help.

i wanted to close my reviews of the FW12 couture season with valentino, considering the level of simplicity & effortlessness that is represented in design. it’s that type of simplicity that i am most responsive to. though simple, a certain level of drama was shown in the lines of the collection. the silhouettes were feminine & sophisticated, the glimpses of skin that were made visible through the sheer textiles, the romantic use of floral print on the gowns- it was all very delicate. the runway soundtrack was as whimsical as the gowns as frida gustavsson opened the show in a gorgeous sheer, navy gown. floral elements have seemed to be a staple in the valentino collections in both ready-to-wear & couture, this season they made a smaller cameo. i was surprised to see that the collection also included valentino red, which is a color iconically associated with the house. in seasons past, it has been apparent that the use of such a tone in the palette was avoided to somehow give birth to this new era that the house is so fully engulfed in.

while the runway video as well as the runway images from this collection do no justice to the clothes, i felt the video was much more powerful a reflection of the atmosphere & physical presence that the clothes are promoting. presented was a range of garments, some much more elegant than others but the overall vision never flew of the track of cohesion. it was distinctly valentino. not the valentino of the past, not the old school vintage valentino that used to dress jackie o. & elizabeth taylor- but the new school valentino, the modernized & elegant valentino of the future. respectful nods seemed to reference many of valentino’s own archived collections, but still there is a separation there that is recognized. from their menswear collection & now to couture, i am extremely pleased with the environment being created by the house of valentino. even down to the digital announcements for their live stream shows each season, there is such a vital importance of modernization, especially through a technological approach with fashion houses these days. all around, this collection being further evidence- the house of valentino is winning. im not talking figures or bullshit about corporations- but im talking through creativity. a beautiful victory.


ITALY – i have said many times before & this season is no different, i have a special place in my heart for the house of valentino. when looking at collections, i envision whether or not i would actually wear the pieces being shown. certain collections, im more selective about what i like- others i love in their entirety. the spring 2013 menswear collection from valentino is one of those ‘i love’, completely & entirely.  since maria grazia chiuri & pier paolo piccioli took the helm at the label, i have been watching. i gave them a chance within my own taste level, not holding them to the standard in which the valentino legacy was built. i allowed myself to understand where this new direction would lead, what level of taste was looking to be served up on the runways from couture to womenswear & now with what we see being served for menswear. thus far, though i have been aware of criticism the label has faced, i still love each collection every season. challenging my own understanding of style, brand heritage & the evolution of aged legacy- valentino as a label is one that never disappoints me. though the collection kept things simple, it’s that simplicity that i seek amidst all of the chaos of more experimental labels in fashion. through greater simplicity, i feel like the true foundation of style can be felt on a greater wavelength. it’s more authentic when stripped.

through belief that couture is a culture, the valentino label looked for ways to bring that same level of craftsmanship to their menswear endeavors. which is exactly what i love about runway- what we see in images or videos is not even a thought when you see, feel & wear the clothes. the value of style cannot be properly felt in looking at simple photographs or even when looking at the collections in motion. which is exactly why i have such an intense need to articulate things- so that you feel them rather than just ‘seeing’ them. which is what it’s all about for me during show season. look after look, from the multilayer concepts with color blocking, i was floored at how intensely i was impacted by clothes that appear so simply. the fact that the label is looking for ways to introduce couture style craftsmanship is completely necessary at this stage in the game.  in amping up for london men’s collections, i heard a statistic that said menswear is growing at twice the rate of womenswear- which is exciting. not only for us dudes, but the fact that our development as a culture is evident with the knowledge of this statistic. it shows that we, as people have advanced to a new stage in the game that is much more aware & concerned with style. aspects of grooming, showcasing of design, sales of cosmetics- it’s all evidence that we are taking greater measures to look good, to present better. i love that, amidst the intention to promote a higher level of craftsmanship, the clothes still appear as wearable- they’re just constructed better. the choice in textile is more refined, but it doesn’t come off as pretentious. the intent is so high fashion, but the clothes aren’t off-putting- like many high fashion collections can be. overall, it’s a high end approach without the ‘im better than you’ complex. cohesive from start to finish, i will say- this is my favorite collection this season, thus far. [source]


PARIS –  of the many collections presented around the world, each year & season, the house of valentino is one i’ve become most affectionate towards. the house of valentino is one that i was always aware of & overtime, i’ve become much more aware. aware in the sense of the brand’s history, it’s development, it’s hardships & the point of valentino’s own retirement from the company; as well as the reasoning behind it. an in-depth knowledge of any fashion house, i feel, is necessary in order to really appreciate a direction, archival references or even trends. in the realm of haute couture, techniques take the place of trends as the traditional & historically valued take center stage before anything else. this season, the house of valentino continues to build a digital presence, as this season’s collection was the first ever couture live stream. the presence of film & media are currently surrounding the house, from my perception. upon valentino garavani’s retirement, the house has seen radical, modern changes in areas of style, branding & advertising. a move which has to be benefiting the house, granted i think they’re doing a really dope job at things. it’s always tricky when a fashion house enters a transformation, or goes through an image overhaul or, for lack of better articulation, a make-over. the modern transformation the house has taken on definitely takes into consideration the houses history & preserves the value of design that was put fourth by valentino himself.

speaking again in reference to the connections to film, remember that awareness of valentino’s history i mentioned? most of that uncovering of truth about the fashion house was discovered in my viewing of the documentary, ‘valentino: the last emperor‘. the documentary sheds a great deal of light on the rise & fall of valentino, while uncovering how ugly & tragic it can be for true artists & designers working in fashion, transitioning from the old ways of the industry, to the now much more globalized format. from the purchased stakes by luxury investment groups, to seeing the atelier bicker about construction of gowns; to valentino’s last runway show- everything was shown. the frustration, the glamour, the history & the future- it was all touched upon. it was that connection & understanding that really reshaped my perception of the house. what i love of current valentino creative directors, maria grazia chiuri & pier paolo piccioli, is their awareness. with the two working at the house under valentino himself, prior to their promotion; they honor the values & legacy of the italian label, which i completely admire. while sitting & watching the live stream, i welcomed the collection into my psyche. this season, i wanted to take more time to focus on each houses inspiration. i think an overall vision of a collection is better translated when you understand what was looking to be represented through design. the recurring theme of film again devoured this inspired collection even further.

upon seeing the valentino documentary, i decided to really bulk up on films that inspire me. in close reference to who i have become inspired by, people i have come into contact with; i’ve had strong connections to image, style & music but none as strongly established to film. over the last year & a half, i’ve been collecting films that represent a form of nostalgia for me or allow me to see something i haven’t seen before or just inspire my love of style & art, my love for design & aesthetics. amongst my collection are an assortment of fashion documentaries, historic re-tellings & concert DVD’s. usually, in an effort to stay inspired, i just let them play, while i continue to do other things- i’ve seen every one multiple times & really only am interested in films that make me feel a certain way. through glamour, through love, through vulnerability, through triumph. one of the films? sofia coppala’s marie antoinette. i remember one day, alone in my room, i sat while the film just played. i remember hearing the same piano rift from kanye west’s “blame game”, from his ‘my beautiful dark twisted fantasy’ album. while the film played in the background, the sound of that rift stopped me. i sat, just staring at the screen- taking in the scene thinking of the creative process & how kanye must’ve heard this same rift from the film, which then provoked him to use it for his album. i posted a tweet of my discovery but due to lack of enthusiasm from my followers, ended up deleting the tweet. as others who’ve followed my work or me, as a personality, can attest; i’ve been very vocal about coppola’s antoinette, finding aesthetic inspiration in the costumes & setting of the film. while watching this season’s valentino couture live stream, as floral print from the collection began to hit the runway; delicate & feminine as if from another time, i thought to myself. “reminds me of marie antoinette”, then the same kanye sampled rift played during the show’s runway soundtrack. immediately, i sat up, much like i did upon my own discovery of the sample during the film. avril 14th, played by richard james. from the original motion picture soundtrack of sofia coppola’s marie antoinette. reading up on the inspiration of the collection, there it was- thirteenth century marie antoinette, in her garden of versailles was listed as this season’s inspiration for the collection.

there is a scene in the film that really struck a cord with me. in the story, marie antoi, as she was affectionately called by her mother, would meet regularly with a dress maker & hair stylist. in one scene, kirsten dunst, whom played the french queen, met with her dress maker & said, “i want something more simple, natural- to wear in the garden”. this soon followed an extensive garden scene. content & at peace, that same feeling is what i felt seeing the collection. the fact that i am able to pin point where the sound, style & film references come from is amazing. in this wide world of inspiration i’ve created for myself, immersed in sound, style & imagery- a sense of accomplishment. as an artist, i was able to translate a complete & total vision, delivered through design & sound. from milan, through a computer screen- i interpreted their vision, spot on. it’s these moments, these mere glimpses of creativity; that act as reassurance for the artist that i have become & the artist i am meant to be. while i could talk about the flowing florals, or compare this season to last couture season- i won’t. i’ll let you interpret the collection as you want. simply put i was stunned by the collection for it’s direction & loved every moment of the eleven minute show. collections like these are why fashion exists- they take inspiration from one place & house them for a world of people to see- vulnerably allowing them to be either persecuted or praised- much like marie antoinette. the symbolism that i am able to define, the connection i am artistically able to identify- that. is. fucking. fashion.  [source]

video: valentino haute couture, fall

runway video: valentino fall prêt-à-porter, paris

fall prêt-à-porter, paris: valentino

from campaigns to concepts, the valentino collection has successfully transitioned into a new era of design, in my book. as one of my favorite designer collections each season, a refined elegance is applied to simplified style & minimal distraction- which allows the foundation of true style to be more clearly identified. from my love of their menswear collection to my admiration of this set, which preys on a more natural aesthetic, i love how much of what is seen, these days at valentino is very subdued. use of sheer, lace & feminine neutrals are well balanced even with use of fur, which is constructed with an air of light elegance. classic design elements like bows, nude leather heels & well tailored dresses- the palette chosen for this collection is just as charming as the collections designs themselves. deep notes of navy, green, maroon & brown were contrasted with ethereal use of pink, muted tones of mustard yellow & soft florals were seen. all in all, it’s feminine, completely charming & very thoughtful. the valentino collections showcase a poetic side of womenswear while others are focused on strict, structure; there is an element of fluidity with the valentino collections. im very pleased with this season’s collection.

imagesource | vogue.fr

spring couture collections: valentino

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.

imagesource | style