Valentino Spring 2019 – a designer in his prime.
Valentino, RTW Spring 2019
by Tony Glenville
Paris Fashion Week – Les Invalides October 1st, Paris.
Sixty three looks, the first twenty of them in top-to-toe black.
In a season of colour, when Pier Paolo Piccioli has eschewed black in recent couture shows, this was a fashion moment.
Of course colour was gloriously featured as well. The palette including clay, terracotta, iced pink, tangerine, Valentino red, and aqua blue.
In addition, some amazing baroque prints where grass-green and lilac, lemon, cherry, aqua with white, were just some of the combinations.
There was a hint of the Ballets Russes and the great artists who worked for Diaghilev like Jose Maria Sert, Chagall, Matisse and Bakst. The patterning and colours and the fluidity of the clothes would certainly have not deterred a choreographer.
The shaping was paramount within the silhouette of the collection. The key element being the soft arc of the bodice shape continually repeated through differing methods and techniques; folded, draped, pleated this list goes on.
The brilliance shown in the balance of the collection was demonstrated with look seven, a curved bodice dress with an ankle length skirt entirely in black plisse matt-satin, worn with feather heeled sandals was followed by the drop-shouldered mini-length taffeta trapeze dress worn with a huge leather scarf and feather heeled espadrilles.
A strict black pants suit was shown with a blouse whose cascading flounced jabot was like black smoke, a buff, long slender coat was shown over sharp white and a solid shimmer patterned pyjama suit in cranberry, indigo and white and had a shawl of brilliant indigo embossed velvet flung over the shoulder, whose edge was dark Bordeaux with minuscule antique gold paillettes.
If there was a standing ovation for this collection it is hardly surprising.
At a time when many skills are missing from designers expertise, when the techniques and attention to minute detail are thought unnecessary- Pier Paolo Piccioli places this front and center.
Through his use of fabric, colour, pattern, silhouette and construction, his skill is at an absolute best. That standing ovation was so well deserved.