Valentino Couture Spring Summer 2013 Paris
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Valentino Couture Spring Summer 2013 Paris

Earlier this month at the cocktail to launch the new “camouflage” capsule collection at the Valentino flagship store on Via Montenapoleone in Milan designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli could not contain their excitement over there up coming haute couture show only little more than a week away.
 
“This collection is so special,” said Chiuri at the time. “I am really emotional about this collection because the workmanship is so incredible that I don’t think anyone will believe it.” The designers even requested a photographer come into the ateliers in Rome and Paris to shoot the progress of the spring/summer 2013 haute couture ensembles to record for posterity the talents displayed by their dedicated team of petite mains.

They were right to document the making of the collection. As it was one of the strongest, most elaborate and stunning shows the designers have done since they took up the reins of the house in 2008. And that is saying something as this design duo has had a pretty faultless record over the past five years.
 
To underline even further the hard work that went into this garden inspired collection the designers listed the number of hours it took to complete say the swirling wrought iron garden gate motif in rolled crêpe piping that outlined a pure white dress (900), or the time it took to embroider a long sleeve knee length dress with mother of pearl and crystal beads (850 hours), even the meters of tulle it took to create a dress -which featured a gorgeous garden hedge maze in lace- with the show notes embroidered across its full skirt (50).  
 
Each outfit was a pure celebration of craftsmanship at its highest levels. The designers smartly chose a limited color palette for this collection. Using pitch black, pure white and Valentino red with just a soupçon of a floral aquarelle print. The silhouette was also quite controlled, consisting of knee length dresses, floor skimming full skirted gowns and structural capes that echoed those seen on the menswear show just the week before. All calculated moves by the designers to make sure the spotlight stayed focused on the fantasy fulfilling workmanship.
 
Piccioli said, “With this collection our dreams came true.” The designers weren’t the only ones who felt like they were dreaming while watching this collection unfold. And it was a dream that no one in the audience wanted to wake up from.

- Jessica Michault