Curio Couture

Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli crafted an exquisite AW13 couture show  for Valentino stating, couture is celebrated in its essence, it is the maker of dreams, because imagination creates reality. What dreams, what research, what inspiration created this couture-reality.  For inspiration they looked deep into the wunderkammer, because, in a cabinet of curiosities, the pieces are very unique, very one-of-a-kind.

Valentino Couture F13 cabinet of curiosities moodboard triptych 3 valentino

Their mood board is a wunder-collage through Baroque and Renaissance art, royal regalia, curio-culture, natural wonders and unnatural creations.


This is a 21st collection where Elizabeth I inspired  intricate details and caped wonders:

Elizabeth 1 painting

val-haute-couture-fall-winter-2013-14 (1)

val image180

Jacopozucchi  Coral Fisher’s

jacopozucchi thecoralfishers detail

were re-incarnated into gloriously sumptuous couture:

Valentino AW 2013 Couturehand held delights:

Valentino Couture Fall 2013 Cabinet of Curiosities 24

and the effortlessly beautiful:paris_couture_fashion_week_valentinoThe collection  came down a moiré catwalk reflected in a wunder-kammer styled entrance complete with the curio centre-piece, the  crocodile, here edited down to an incisive  graphic outline.Valentino-HauteCouture-FW13-1001_sfbs

Progress through the antler locked door, can you see  Albrecht Duhrer’s rhinoceros coming into view?

valentino-haute-couture-aw-2013-look-01Yes really, centre-breast.Dürer's Rhinoceros 1515surrounded by sworls of metallic lace inspired by the cartouche surrounding Friedrich Schorer’s  skull:

skull in a cartouche 1651 Friedrich Schorer

and all together valentino-haute-couture-2013pfw18

in the couture duo’s extraordinarily accomplished collection the effect is sublime, transcending time and place to create their own wonder-pieces.2013 valentino8Couture is marked out by the thousands of hours and hand crafted expertise which produce the designers’ vision. Here?  a long-sleeved black dress constructed from laser-cut black astrakhan embroidered with crystals that took five hundred hours to make. A coat apparently made of silk Ottoman brocade but actually handwoven from the thinnest strips of raffia.  The Pièce de résistance? a cream gown with sculpted train, hand-stitched with 2,200 river pearls and gold thread. has the full collection, or indulge… let the cat walk experience at Valentino wash over you, pull you in, leave you wondering? which dress? which look? which girl? where? where to wear? where to meet?

Well if  I opened my cabinet to discover it had Valentino couture I would immediately book myself first class to Venice, a city where the Baroque seems  to linger.  On arrival I’d direct the Riva speedboat to take my monogrammed luggage (obviously) to the Gritti Palace,  re-opened after a sumptuous restoration by Chuck Chewning of Donghia ….. and let the magic continue.

blackamoor gritti

I’d walk in off the canal,  heels clicking, between the blackamoor lit entrance.

Gritti reception

Have a chat over the baroque altarpiece and check in.  But which room to choose? the suites are named after the A’list illustrious, at home here since the 15th Century – from Venetian Doges and Vatican Ambassadors all the way down the line to the 2oth century when Hemingway, Somerset Maugham and Miss Guggenheim all passed through.Gritti bedroom AD red

John Ruskin wrote ‘The Stones of Venice’ here, so maybe his suite? decor inspired by the Victorian pre-Raphaelites ,Gritti guggenheim bed

Or for something  with a little more contemporary-cool, Collector Peggy Gugenheim’s suite, decorated in homage, complete with miro etching.gritti palace bed

Maybe as it is Venice,  I should just luxuriate in the view? take the Redentore Terrazza Suite ( hand painted with an Autumnal feel) and have a party on the terrace overlooking the Grand Canal… after all got the dress ?gritti

Or once dressed for dinner, relax downstairs, those nights are drawing in,  time for a drink…. a bellini  naturally?Gritti aqua bar

dinner (oh go on – risotto)Gritti AD dining

Finishing off in Chewning’s pièce de résistance:  the ‘Explorers Library’, surely Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli held design meetings here.

Me? Well I’d kick off a heel, curl up and linger amidst the curios, navigational instruments and books, silk rustling and glass to hand.
Gritti AD

photo credits:

Valentino couture, as above.

Mood board Harper’s Bazaar UK

Gritti palace Architectural Digest and Vogue Living Australia.

2 thoughts on “Curio Couture

  1. Pingback: New Year: New Plans | adecorativeaffair

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