I really love what Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri have done with place. I mean, who else can romanticize black leather? We fall in love with Valentino every season for its heritage, its grandiose other-worldliness. Valentino has always been synonymous with ethereal femininity; it is a house helmed by a masterful couturier. And now that Piccioli and Chiuri have inherited that legacy and are quite good at balancing that historic weight with intriguing modernization. I suspect that I will continue to marvel at this ability for seasons to come, despite them settling in quite nicely for more than a few collections now.
Though I tend to associate sleek tailored lines with polished menswear or clean minimalism, Chiuri and Piccioli have rendered supple napa leather and rich silk-wool into a novel fairytale. Not that there is not plenty of filigree lace and silk-macramé detail work in gorgeous cream and of course, Valentino red. With the silhouette kept lean, they are able to showcase high-waisted pinafore and delicate smock dresses without devolving into trite girlishness. This collection feels both current and prettily imagined to introduce Valentino to a whole new set.