Pierpaolo Piccioli is really sweeping us off our feet. The past few seasons have been stellar and after his A/W 18 couture success, Piccioli was exalted as a master. Smart then to infiltrate the Valentino S/S 19 collection with the winning elements of said couture.
The voluminous shapes of couture - puff sleeve, ballooning silhouette, dramatic line - were all present and economised for ready-to-wear. It was a harmonising of adaptable couture notes with ready-to-wear's tune. These billowing gowns packed just as much punch as couture, perhaps even more, when you think of the wider reach they will receive. To make such couture-quality, precision cut creations available and suitable for the ready-to-wear market, is a stroke of marvel.
And marvel we did. Editors could be seen mouthing 'Amazing!' across the runway at their peers as Piccioli's thrilling black dresses and pleated gowns swished past. These were clothes that caught your breath as they whisked the air around you into a frenzy. The first look opened with the inimitable Kristen McMenamy, her flowing white hair languid against the black dress, her presence palpably changing the mood. This was drama, decadence, balance. Lace pyjama-like two sets, sharp sunglasses, chunky gold hoops, and low slinging bags were a delicious ploy for the younger market, while grand sun hats, puffed sleeves and ankle-skimming dresses were universally appealing.
This collection possessed a magnetic free spirit that oozed from every wild print and explosion of colour. Shoes were flat and fantastic with feather tails, perfect for both practicality and parties. Glittered eyes and lips by Pat McGrath were a beauty grand slam against the predominantly monochromatic first looks. Piccioli had offered us a perfect equilibrium, an intoxicating balance of dream and reality at Valentino. I want this dream to be my reality! Bravo!