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Valentino’s glamorously groovy grisaille

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today Sep 30, 2019
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Probably no designer in Paris is more popular this week than Pierpaolo Piccioli, whose latest show for the house of Valentino earned him the most impassioned roar of 2019 as he took his bow.
 

Valentino - Spring-Summer 2020 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula


Inspired by the concept of grisaille – the artistic concept of rendering a painting or image in multiple variations of gray, ecru and white – the show opened with a multiplicity of grand grisaille outfits. Never truly monochrome compositions in a plethora of materials – each with impeccable grace and taste.
 
Broadly plissé shirt-dresses dissected with rope belts, very beguiling combinations of soutanes and see-through skirts, cotton piqué tuxedo shirts that extended to become party frocks. Even PPP’s white leather totes came with white marabou feathers. 

Adding to the sense of the otherworldly, the models eyes were encircled with gold glitter. Pat McGrath at her best. Many looks were anchored by rope sandals, many made of them in gold. This color was reflected in hoop or twig-shaped earrings, dangling pendants and long necklaces from which hung mini monkeys and courtesans. An ethereal, evocative, unusual and elegant ready-to-wear collection for Spring 2020.
 
Ironically, there was nothing terribly grisaille about the set – a huge high-tech cuboid tent built at the back of Les Invalides. Though made of techy white, all the seats and halls were in an eye-watering fluorescent lime. 
 

Valentino - Spring-Summer 2020 - Womenswear - Paris - © PixelFormula


Changing gear suddenly, Piccioli then dreamed up acid pink and lemon frocks with huge leg of mutton sleeves and plissé skirts. And then switched things up again with a series of couture-quality columns, hyper embroidered with jungle scenes and tropical flora – fauvist fantasies.
 
Valentino was also the latest collection to include a monkey print – baboons swinging from high branches or a naughty rhesus perched on a bolder. 
 
The show closed with a beautiful bride in a wedding dress – traditionally how one ends couture and not ready-to-wear shows – blending the rarefied world of couture in the commercial realm of prêt-à-porter. No wonder he got such an intense ovation. Everyone felt like they were dreaming.
 

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