Pierpaolo Piccoli’s fifth solo showing for Valentino saw him connect two completely unrelated sources of inspiration and fuse them into a romantic, pretty and above-all wearable collection. Memphis design and Victoriana were the two core themes, with the latter appearing to be slightly more prevalent. Piccoli utilised key Victorian traits transforming them into elegant collars and sleeves in delicate ruffles and lace up boots in rich mahogany leather, but he ensured the dresses didn’t feel dated or costumey by raising the hemlines to a midi length. The Memphis influence saw abstract and surrealist patterns and prints emblazoned onto dresses and outerwear as well as the inclusion of bright colours: pastel pinks, yellows and aqua blues. Piccoli incorporated some of his signature techniques such as plissé pleating and appliqué embroidery, which brought graceful movement and dimension to the clothes.
When it came to accessories, the Valentino team sent out many different options – from a continuation of spring/summer17’s micro mini and double bag trend to shoulder bags in exotic skins, as well as smooth leather versions that came embroidered, studded and appliquéd. Numbered rings worn together like knockle dusters depicted the show’s date.
Piccoli’s clever merging of Memphis and Victoriana, resulted in a collection that offers many different buy-ins for both loyal Valentino customers and a slightly newer demographic while remaining true to the Italian house’s aesthetic. The Memphis-influenced outerwear in standout pinks will hold their own for years to come and the surrealist knit jumper will speak to streetwear enthusiasts – pair with a dark denim jean and ankle boot and it’s good to go. Meanwhile the Victoriana gowns and dresses offer refined sophistication and will no doubt be lapped up by the brand’s loyal A-listers and society women.