Couture collections usually live in their own rarefied world. This self-contained microcosm of fashion sustains itself with prestige, wealthy corporate owners and a small but ultra elite clientele. It is a fantasy for those who live a fantasy life. Yesterday I wrote about the couture as an art form deserving of our appreciation. That was before the Valentino Couture show, which in my mind has changed everything.
The collection Pierpaolo Piccioli showed on Wednesday accomplished the impossible; he made couture modern and made it more old school couture at the same time. He took modern ease and pushed it further with generous proportions masterfully accomplished with couture level draping techniques. The volume was never sloppy or haphazard as we see all too often in less experienced hands in ready to wear.
Piccioli’s bold use of color added another level of surprise and originality with a nod to the haute couture of the fifties. The unlikely mixes of purples with yellow, aqua, fuchsia and mustard were an eye opener. After this show I’m sure bold color will be making a comeback at all levels of the market. The extravagant feathered hats, also in shocking colors, reinforced the homage to the glory days of couture.
There were similar elements in the Fall Valentino Couture, but with the spring show it all came together to spectacular effect. To make couture modern and influential while still maintaining the other worldliness of the couture is remarkable and fait accompli with this collection.