On Place Vendôme, the home of Valentino’s haute couture atelier, creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli has promised to showcase “the anatomy of couture” for SS22. Not one to shy away from fashion’s extravagant displays, Piccioli swung models in six-foot feather dresses from acrobatic hoops and even created a transparent platform in an old Venetian wharf for his designs to appear walking on water for the past few years, but bringing the crowds has certainly proven to him that home is where the heart is.
If the feather hats, opera gloves and royal ruffles of AW21 were couture’s debutante ball, this collection is the ultra-exclusive afterparty. Kristen McMenamy opened the show in a black cocktail dress, stockings appearing just below the hem and leather racing gloves, the first of many sophisticated and seductive ensembles that would follow behind her. Evoking 1980s haute couture and hardcore glamour, it was reminiscent of Helmut Newton or Guy Bourdin’s signature high-hedonism – the kind of look you might imagine Jerry Hall wearing as he got out of a car. town in Tramp circa 1986. Someone call Justin Timberlake, because sexy is definitely back.
Of course, it wasn’t all short skirts and high heels. Typically grand gowns filled the latter part of the collection in a range of intentionally punchy bright colors. Electric blues, neon pinks, and neon greens were recurring themes, peppered with an entry of delectable browns that battled black as a new neutral tone. Circular skirts, now a Valentino staple, captured the room’s attention for their sheer elegance and large-scale grandeur, while outrageous ruffled capes were paired with chic, clean tailoring, creating the perfect appeal. downtown.
It was a triumphant return to unapologetically extravagant evening wear, with backless sequined dresses, fishtail skirts and flowing tulle capes offering a healthy dose of divine drama to a somewhat subdued couture season. Silhouettes from Hollywood’s Golden Age could be spotted throughout Grace Kelly’s elegance, while glamorous embellishments in your face provided voluminous vigor. Elsewhere in the collection, an equally streamlined elan and unfussy energy made the over-the-top attitude more dilutable for extreme fashion naysayers.
This is a collection that will undoubtedly become the to be seen in awards season, on the red carpet, or, frankly, anywhere. Masterfully created by a true visionary, if ‘Anatomy of Couture’ was a real subject, you would certainly have listened to it more at school.