The powerful duo made matte black leather look romantic for the Valentino Fall/Winter 2012 collection and turned lace and princess sleeves into edgy accents.
Timeless shapes, the referential classic of the brand, become are at the helm of modern style in this collection. Clothes are delicate but still able to carry the prevailing trends of each season while staying true to the Valentino woman. The pragmatic strategy of the duo who is in tune with the DNA of the brand, they are finessing the balance between carrying on a heritage and running with an instinct.
Pier Paolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri promised to “focus on globetrotting and searching for one’s roots” with “rediscovered local allure transformed into global synthesis” taking in “an imaginative journey, exploring different knowledge, iconographies and traditions with a keen eye and rapid movements” while “ indulging in tactile artisan craftsmanship”. The curly frogging on a coat and raw stitching on a top offered a clue but even as the collection, which was full of beautiful pieces, progressed into more obvious thematic turf — a textural coat inspired by an exotic carpet, for example — it was less about quirky charm or global eclecticism than elevating crafty details and treatments to the luxury stratosphere.
Cleverly balancing the season’s feel for masculine utilitarianism with its signature Valentino girliness, the show started in black with long leather capes, A-line culottes and fitted backless jumpsuits broken up by delicate ribbons of cross stitch.
Scallop-necked dresses with high waists and skirts just below to the knee were light and lacy, in stark contrast to the more austere shapes of tailored trousers and collarless coats – but in spite of the innocence, there were a lot of long-sleeve dresses and coats with high necks, fitted bodices and gentle A-line skirts — the prettily modest silhouette that has become their default mode over the last several seasons, while glittering ankle-strapped shoes with modest heels added a little seasonal sass.
Dresses of patchworked fur and light silk embellished with crystals denoted the rich, intricate work that had gone into this collection while light tiered ruffles of silk chiffon had typical Valentino romance.