Adventure Is Out There: Valentino Resort 2015


Wow, Valentino. Just wow.

Under the reigns of design duo of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, Valentino has become the go-to brand for luxurious and romantic bohemian clothing, full of lace maxi skirts, earthy suedes, and models in milkmaid braids. There's no doubt that Chiuri and Piccioli have succeeded in making the Valentino brand all their own, but in the process I have sometimes felt as if their collections have become repetitive, all variations on the same theme, and together not as all inventive as the presentations that Valentino Garavani designed for his namesake brand.

The 2015 resort presentation was not a departure from the aesthetic that Chiuri and Piccioli have established as staples of the present-day Valentino, but rather a revitalization. 

With some inspiration from an archival print from a 1973 collection, as well as the works of the iconic artist Frida Kahlo, Valentino delivered a truly extensive collection full of clothes for the fashionable, adventurous woman.

The clothes were not only beautiful but practical. They aren't just for sitting around and looking pretty, they are for exploring jungles both urban and exotic, for traipsing through cobblestone streets in seldom-visited villages, for seeing all that this world has to offer in fabulous style.


The first half of the collection was full of these practical but fascinating looks, with army jackets decorated with butterfly motifs (another staple of the Chiuri-Piccioli-run Valentino), comfortable gladiators and flat espadrilles, and billowy fabrics and shapes perfectly made for moving around.

Then the earthy tones and Khalo-esque touches quickly transformed into technicolor, geometric print dresses that recalled the pop art of the 60s and 70s. These were the looks that were inspired by that archival 1973 print, which was considered quite "visually disruptive" and continued to be so here, but in the best of ways.

If there's anything that modern fashion has taught us, it is that the rules were meant to be broken. Patterns can clash for the ultimate effect, for example, and in general things that are supposedly visually displeasing can make for great sartorial statements. The highly-saturated looks are sure to land on magazine pages and make statements on the red carpets. They may even find themselves on a bold street style star or two. Surely they are the standout pieces from the collection, if only because the colorful patterns are so clearly attention-grabbing.

In a season of resort shows continuing to demonstrate the increasing importance of the pre-season collections, Valentino delivered a knock-out presentation that was just as strong as any major ready-to-wear collection. I sincerely hope these magnificent clothes get the attention they deserve come winter.

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