Valentino Spring/Summer 2017 Paris

By Miles Socha

Occasionally, fashion shows start late because the designer is still working on the collection. There are some persnickety types out there who would happily keep tinkering until it’s markdown time.

 Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli decided they would throw in the towel whenever they felt each item in their spring collection was finished just enough to reveal the beauty of the craftsmanship at the heart of a couture house like Valentino. They explained that they had borrowed the concept from the “Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible” exhibition at the Met Breuer in New York, which showcased some 500 years of paintings still in progress.

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The highfalutin’ explanation had one searching for examples beyond the brogues with exposed staples and undyed edges they plucked off a table backstage. But apart from a bit of sagging lining here and a few dangling threads there, here was a collection with that familiar Valentino polish.

 The camouflage coats and military-influenced ensembles had a sense of deja vu, too, albeit with more irregular splotches and ruff-hewn embroideries. What felt newer were the monochromatic ensembles, layers of featherweight coats and zippered shirt jackets tucked into tapered trousers. They came in Army green, a deep blue or black — the latter peppered with silver grommets — and were chic from start to finish.

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