Written by Annam├íria ©


20 March 2014

Valentino's Adventures in the Wilderness

We'd just tumbled on a soft, dewy pile of moss, closed our eyes to get them ready for the unfolding fairytale land - but Oh! we couldn't even rest our senses and sink into the redolent Eden of Adam and Eve; an enraged tiger's roar forced us to wake up and return to the bitter reality.

Well if I had to write a review about Valentino's Spring 2014 Couture Collection for a children's book, or for the opening scene of a low budget adult movie, this would surely do as a first paragraph.
However, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli took 55 operas and came out with 55 "matching" looks, inspirated by them. What a brilliant idea. To be honest, I tend to forget about Valentino, as a brand and most of the times I just recall and automatically associate the name of a photograph I saw of Him, Valentino Clemente Ludovico Garavani (phew) in a Hungarian Elle magazine, like million years ago, but which I still sharply remember of. It was taken in his house, and it was utterly fabolous. And I remember, as a teenager I imagined being-in-the-fashion-business must look exactly like that. I wasn't so far from the truth, I guess. Anyway, somehow Valentino denotes Vintage for me but in a good sense and I keep thinking of the chic 80s, 90s every time I hear his name. It's time to change this image in my head.

Aside from this collection you can tell that Valentino himself had a passion for nature, especially junge-like plants, vibrant coloured flowers and floral details in furnitures. Also safari and African motifs (here). He represents those millionaires who have The Money to go on those inspiration- and lion-hunting vacations into a civilised jungle, and take many servants and order them to make sure that their latest designer clothes won't get dirty and the Diet Lemonades are always ice cold.

Knowing all this, it shouldn't be such a surprise seeing The Jungle coming alive on the runway and challange all our sensory organs to take this playful, untamed, cartoony, animal printed collection in. The floating dresses as a hot summer breeze and the heavier coats ("not embroidered but built into the fabric of the garments, like a puzzle") as a shield from all the dangerous lions and elephants are perfectly working and moving systematically together like an awakening Henri Rousseau painting (above Fight Between a Tiger and a Buffalo, 1908). This harmony continues in the rest of the collection, vivifying swans and the ancient Egypt as well.

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