Paris Couture Fall ’09. Valentino Takes Risks With ‘Story of Shadows’

July 9, 2009 • Fashion Shows

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The designer duo behind the current Valentino label, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli, had a lot on their plate for this couture season. As WWD noted, the designers' "homage phase is over" after their debut collection last couture season looked like a textbook collection of the label's aesthetic. So this year the two had the heavy task of carving out a stylistic name for themselves, while still remaining true to the signature theme of the label. What resulted was an interesting collection that paired a more artful technique with considerably younger shapes and silhouettes. They also stepped away from Valentino's typical use of vibrant colors in favor of mostly black, nude, and sheer pieces, forgoing what WWD called Valentino’s "carefully balanced, color-rich equation — day + cocktail + evening = a lineup the ladies will love." According to Picciolo, the collection was aptly titled "A story of shadows."

The collection was made up initially of A-line minidresses swathed in lace and tulle ruffles that provided views of corseted boning. The designers were true to the Valentino ateliers such as beading, flowering, bustling, and feathering, most to extravagant measure and topped off by elaborate head pieces. The latter portion of the collection took a turn into what WWD called,"a full-fledged assault on the notion of restraint, and in some cases, common sense" with flagrant, costumey pieces that seemed more editorial than actually wearable.

The general feedback from the show was that fashion media experts considered the two designers to be still in the process of finding that balance between appeasing Valentino's existing clientele with traditional looks, while also breaking through to more edgier designs in an attempt to attract a new demographic.

Photo Source: WWD

-Alia Rajput

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