To the stirring arias of Verdi and Puccini designer Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli sent out a collection operatic in nature. Which shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing as the designer duo of Valentino recently toured the Rome Opera workshops.
With opera on their minds it goes without saying that the spring/summer 2014 show was of the opulent variety. Sticking to their puritanical shapes which often consist of neck to floor (generally long sleeve) dresses, the designers put their embellishment skills on fine display.
Those who had attended the designer’s Cabine de Curiosité haute couture collection in July could see a real correlation between this lavish show and its bespoke big sister collection. The duo once again created all kinds of surface interest on their ensembles. There was beauty to behold on every look, from the embroidered flowers or brightly colored geometric motifs covering carwash pleated dresses, to those adorned in a medallion pattern or simply designed from delicate white lace.
But there is always that danger that when designers are inspired by costumes, they t0o will produce pieces that look ready for center stage. It is for that reason that in this collection it was the ensembles that didn’t emphasize adornments that felt the most modern. Case in point: a pair of wide leg denim pants cut with a “curtain” ruffle at the knee. Other subtle winners included a boxy sky blue cotton top with a semi sheer insert at the shoulders, a structured bracelet sleeve wide-striped coat and an emerald green sleeveless gown worn with flat sandals.
This was without a doubt a highly romantic, expertly crafted collection from two extremely talented designers. But in all honestly, it also felt just a tad redundant.