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.
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:
Jacopozucchi Coral Fisher’s
were re-incarnated into gloriously sumptuous couture:
and the effortlessly beautiful:The 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.
Progress through the antler locked door, can you see Albrecht Duhrer’s rhinoceros coming into view?
in the couture duo’s extraordinarily accomplished collection the effect is sublime, transcending time and place to create their own wonder-pieces.Couture 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.
Style.com 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.
I’d walk in off the canal, heels clicking, between the blackamoor lit entrance.
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.
Or for something with a little more contemporary-cool, Collector Peggy Gugenheim’s suite, decorated in homage, complete with miro etching.
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 ?
Finishing off in Chewning’s pièce de résistance: the ‘Explorers Library’, surely Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli held design meetings here.
Valentino couture Style.com, as above.
Mood board Harper’s Bazaar UK