By Chere Di Boscio
After the departure of the house’s founder, many worried about maintaining the brand’s prestige and femininity. But under the direction of Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli, Maison Valentino has gone from strength to strength, not just in terms of their sustainability (having been the only couture house so far to receive Greenpeace’s stamp of approval), but also for its dedication to innovation and beauty.
It was a daunting task. By stepping into Valentino Garavani’s well polished shoes, Chiuri and Piccioli had to please the cognoscenti, loyal clients, customers in emerging markets and young fashionistas alike, but their typically theatrical inspirations have universal appeal.
Creating a butterfly and flora-motifed magical ode to nature (which must have pleased front-row attendee Livia Firth) at the Hotel de Rothschild they dared to demonstrate that they can go beyond the long, covered-up lace dresses they’ve become known for by focusing on the artistry of embroidery (even creating an entire Garden of Eden on one skirt).
It’s a tradition the Italian duo is proud to preserve. As Piccioli told Vogue: “What they (the embroiderers) are doing has been going on since the 14th century. The artisanal tradition strongly relates to the basis of what we do in couture.”
We love haute couture for exactly that: maintaining rare artisanal European skills and traditions is a necessary part of preserving our heritage. But by showing enchanting silhouettes, wonderfully cut column dresses and , Maison Valentino brings couture’s roots fully to date for the 21st century.