As anyone who keeps up with my reviews will tell you, the reviews are rarely favorable when it comes to Valentino. What remains a constant is that Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli are amazingly full of bravado, if not brazen, when it comes to technique, materials, quality and workmanship; but to me, it stops there! Their design esthetic evades me practically every season since they began.
Here’s the rub for the Fall 2013 Haute Couture … my take is that the clothes, design wise, are surely not on my top 5 or even top 10 … BUT, if there was ever a collection that embraced, lauded, utilized and shined a klieg light on the abilities of couture ateliers… this collection shoots to the top of the list!
For me, the whole monastic, somber tone of the seemingly robotic models and clothes as well as the presentation are not appealing. The almost matronly lengths, silhouettes, hair and make up, fall flat in my eyes. The color palette is bland, almost yawn worthy, and without excitement. If I was so inclined I might pick the collection apart but there is no point as once again, we need to be reminded that these clothes have an instant customer approval rating and it will be they who judge the success or failure of the collection. BUT … there are some absolutely stellar pieces hidden amongst all the ennui.
The awe inspiring aspects of the collection are the embellishments, the fabrications, the workmanship and the finish of these garments which are all above any criticism that can be offered. All of this is just mesmerizing and has no equal … not even the “modern couture” of Dior. If one thinks of it, Valentino is the antithesis of that Raf “modern manifesto” as these clothes could not scream any louder that they are ONLY for the endlessly rich and reek of the heritage that is particular to the haute couture.
Bravo to the designers for fluently speaking the language of the Haute Couture. It is just a pity that the clothes do not equal the sum of their parts.