Valentino really outdid itself for Spring Summer 2013. Showcasing conservative fashion, inspired by the rich Catholic traditions of Italy, the fashion house chose serendipity over elaborate detailing, and sobriety over lavish bejewels.
The mood on the catwalk off-late for fashion from this domicile seems to invoke its native country’s wealthy design tastes, and Valentino was no different. Think of the nave of a Catholic Church, and your on the right path.
A nave is the central body of the church, first pictured in Romanesque and Gothic Christian abbey architectural designs. Acting as the primary approach to the high altar, the word “nave” is believed to have originated from the medieval Latin word “navis”, which means “ship”, seemingly contributing to the keel shape of the arch.
Classical music amused the guests, among which a few notable front-row attendees included, Jennifer Lopez and the honorary president of Valentino, Giancarlo Giammetti.
Valentino always chooses to exhibit its work during the very last few days of Paris Fashion Week, and all of the anticipation that builds up for the show is one that never goes to waste because every piece was all about fine craftsmanship and palatial tastes in history.
Day dresses, a unique “try-me-on” spotted here and there when the Italian fashion house opted for snakeskin chopped into thin long strips and stitched onto the organza of a shirtdress, sunray seams reflecting over casual numbers going for that ‘hardly ever displayed on the catwalk’ streamlined effect, and of course lace skirts wearing crystals.
Risqué doesn’t begin to describe it because just when you think you get the hang of it, Valentino swoops in and gives you fashion inspired by the mastheads, the captain, the crew, the wooden ship, the travels, and the smell of spices.
A must have cardinal-red leather coat, high-necked floor-length gowns, puritan-styled white collars and cuffs, placed carefully on buttoned-up blouses, a white lace jacket and skirt, as well as some plastic macs with (gasp!) crystal seams, were all accessorized with the crew’s favourites: Cinderella-like crystal slippers topped with a gold stud and those must-have nude-coloured shoes!
Delicate fabrics are at the heart of everything the Italian fashion house does, because some of the gowns were had that atmosphere of “thistles lightness” – an airy, vibrant, steeped in elegance collection that had diversity in handiwork about it, be it embroideries, embellishments, beads, sequins or brocade.
The slip-dresses were rather interesting because they were two-toned in silk panama but still managed to be airy in colour, sort of like a trip back in time for the designer, one where he revisits his Roman roots. For motifs on white lace, there were hand-painted black flowers, which spoke as much about the heritage of the house, as it did about inheritance of a vast legacy of consistently coming up with brilliant work.
The popular dresses: the Valentino red gowns, the wispy rose-pink silk dress of botanical patterns of dandelions and embroidered white beads, sapphire sheer chiffon and broderie anglaise, it was good to see is still as much loved as it were when Valentino begun to make a name for himself in the fashion industry, in and around 1965.
However, because the theme here is largely about Catholic fashion spliced up with adventurous sailing designs, there was a lot of strength in many of the looks, with the arrival of capes, intricate jumpsuits and collars of lace and ruffled bib fronts accentuating tea dresses with puffed sleeves,