There is beauty in simplicity. That’s one of the lessons this haute couture week has taught us, or rather, reminded us of. Or, alternatively, if you’re too young to have taken nineties minimalism to heart, it sprung out of the blue: the idea that you can also stand out in a crowd by wearing something restrained and undecorated. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli are lending a hand in this reappraisal at Valentino. “We also think couture is about pure shape,” said Chiuri, as she and Piccioli were working on the finishing touches for their fall lineup in Paris. You can see what she means by flicking through to the points in the show where the midnight-blue dresses appear. One is in liquid silk with a high neckline, long sleeves, and a slightly blouse-y waist, trailing a long, fluted skirt. Another, with a new arched shoulder-line swooping into a curved V-neck, is in velvet. Impeccable, reserved, dignified—and youthful. Four adjectives we’re not used to seeing strung together in this day and age.
But Piccioli and Chiuri have been working on modernizing couture and bringing a separateness to their vision at Valentino. Piccioli put a finger on it when he said, “We believe real beauty is effortless”—and how refreshing it is to hear that at a time when there is so much effort going on in all the dressing up and posturing outside shows. What they’re hinting at in this collection—say, in the plain, chic structure of a short boxy dress with a matching double-layered cape—is that it’s cool to take the opposite approach for a change.
Photo: Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com