Couture week ended with a bang and a love manifesto. On Wednesday evening Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli presented a collection inspired by Dante’s Inferno and the paintings (and Russian ancestry) of Marc Chagall. At the Parisian Hôtel de Rotchschild - and before the attentive eyes of Valentino Garavani - model of the moment Grace Hartzell opened the show wearing a simple black velvet dress with details mimicking the wings of Chagall’s angels. Her hair was tied up in a Slavonic braid punctured with tiny wild flowers.
The looks that followed - Mujik-like dresses worn with embroidered shearling waistcoats and rough linen ensembles heavily embroidered with flowers and worn with matching ankle boots - had the astounding quality of being both exceedingly humble and the pinnacle of sumptuousness (after all, is there anything more luxurious than concealed opulence?). Cuts and lines became more Pre-Raphaelite-inspired as the show evolved, with the long velvet dresses in a palette of crimson, mint green, canvas-brown and grey blue, in which the only un-demure elements were the very generous décolletés (most of the times covered by transparent chiffon blouses). The last few looks, more colourful and featuring cloud and rainbow embroideries as well as Inferno’s verses in soft pink, cream and blue, were a little too literal. Nevertheless, they were undisputed crowd-pleasers. ‘I was moved to tears by the finale. Bravissimi Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo’, uttered Bianca Brandolini d’Adda after the show. Proof that, at least when it comes to couture, love does indeed conquer all.