“Romanticism is strength. It places sensibility before rationality, authenticity, before stereotypes.” said the press notes Valentino. Yes, who wants to be reasonable when one could be hopelessly romantic? Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino was for the romantics, flower powered. Inside this Japanese-like greenhouse where everything grows and blossoms, the Autumn/ Winter 18 collection came to life with giant flowers printed onto dresses, petal shaped edges scalloping down the middle of dresses and tiered in a perfect formality. It began darkly, chocolate browns the base for white flowers, yet he managed to hold on to all that great colour from the couture collection, Valentino claret met dusty pinks and light sky blues melted into sage greens. Picture book pretty.
Dancing chiffon over pants made micro lengths look modern, but also modest as they almost walked on hems, so youthful. If all these wonderful colours and blood red poppies on black were blooming, fringed leather was the root of the collection. Little Red Riding hoods fanned out, petal-like and even in all that ever-so-slightly ruched fabric they still felt light. The airy, mystifying Shape of Water theme rippled softly through the clothes, getting us Oscar ready and Bjork’s Isobel felt vigorous, going deep into the core of the collection. Those final gowns were exquisitely graceful, “etherealness that leaves a sign.” It drifted in and out but was very much in full bloom and filled with Pierpaolo’s power.