Summary: If you ever see the first look in a Carmen Marc Valvo show listed as “patent leather” you know you’re going to be in for something new. The reigning king of the Old Hollywood glamour decided to amp up his Fall 2013 collection with a little edge, a little punk and a little rock n’ roll. And pairing this youthful aesthetic with his signature sense of mature elegance was as interesting a mash-up as the Stevie Nicks and classical harpsichord soundtrack that played throughout the show.
Eschewing his typical voluminous ball gowns and crystal-encrusted sheaths, Valvo instead used the season to focus on rich decadent fabrics, simple shapes and strategically-placed statements like chunky tile embroidery and alligator panels. The slicked back hair styles were topped off with bright pink hair chalk at the ends, lending a sort of undone look to the polished evening looks and creating a new take on the modern party girl. Unexpected pairings also kept the audience guessing, including a chinchilla purple vest topping a black dual satin skirt and black sparkle tweed pants peeking out from underneath an ivory brocade gown. Even the allover lace gowns, probably my least favorite looks in the collection, were punched up with jolts of color like red, maroon and purple. And as an added bonus, we even got a peek at the Fall 2013 Carmen Marc Valvo Calzature shoe collection, made up mostly of black strappy slingbacks that could go perfectly with pretty much any piece.
The essence of Valvo’s Fall 2013 collection showed that the designer is perfectly comfortable moving out of his comfort zone, as long as he brings a bit of what he knows best with him. Longtime fans of the designer (and there are tons, as evidenced by the packed house despite the blizzard outside) would have been upset if he made too much of a departure from his signature style in order to appeal to a “wider” audience. But the subtle touches of youthful zest were refreshing, while keeping in step with his traditional aesthetic. Valvo proves you can have your leather and your lace too.
Color Palette: Black, Grape, Cassis, Ivory, Striped, Red, Merlot
Fabrics and Textures: Patent leather, tile embroidered, double face wool, satin, swakara and knit, feathered fox fur, ruffled taffeta, silk and wool, sparkle tweed, caviar beads, suede, sheared mink, silk charmeuse, lace, Chantilly lace, cut out leather, sheared mink and alligator, embroidered tulle, mire taffeta, sequined tulle, chinchilla, brocade, dual satin, striped lace, dual faced satin
Key Looks: Black square patent leather tile embroidered trench coat, Black sparkle tweed pant Cassis feathered fox coat, Grape off-shoulder lace cocktail dress, Black sheared mink and alligator coat, Beth black suede ankle boots, Ivory cutaway halter brocade gown, Striped lace bodice gown, Merlot silk and wool gown with alligator inset, Black beaded Chantilly lace gown, Red baroque embroidered leather gown