A fitting end to the extravaganza that is the couture season, the Valentino show was a ravishing affair that celebrated exquisite craftsmanship in all its glory.
Inspired by the idea of a dreamy secret garden, designer duo Maria Grazia and Pierpaolo Picciolo concieved the idea of hand-rolling crepe into piping which would embellish gowns, jackets and shoes. The fabric tubes echoed wrought iron gates, containing the wilderness of hand-painted florals and embroidered butterflies and birds within.
This technique was used to particularly extravagant effect on a grey gown of layered organza which was decorated with the painstaking embroidery. Paired with a floor-length tulle cape made from the piping, the model was transformed into a metaphoric caged bird- a result so stunning it initiated a spontaneous round of applause from the audience. According to the show notes it took 500 hours of hand rolling to produce the piping for that look alone. Another look featuring an organza jacket and skirt took over 850 hours to embellish. One source even claims that a roller developed Carpal Tunnel Syndrome during the creation of the collection. It's dedicated craftmanship such as this that keep Valentino firmly in place as the reigning lords of couture, and reducing other couture collections to mere child's play.
The dusty pastel palette was punctuated by hits of Valentino's signature red, and the drama of heavily embellished gowns was regularly disrupted by sleek, minimalist dresses that let the silhouettes speak for themselves. Valentino sure put on a show to remember.