The Tom & Lorenzo Archives: 2006 -2011

Valentino Haute Couture Fall 2010

Buttons and bows. bemoans the passing of time:

"Teen psychodrama may fit with the kind of "dark side" idea they've sometimes toyed with in the past, but it was downright peculiar in a couture context. Still, as a pitch to a much younger customer (and those girls were out in force in the front row today), the collection was a major success on its own terms: haute couture for the Twilight generation. From the little black dresses in gazar that opened the show to a trapeze coat in ivory crepe that tied with bows down its front to the tiers of ecru lace trimmed with feathers, the clothes had the spirited dressiness that you see now in Valli's gals, for instance. They weren't saccharine, either—that dark side lurked in the black gazar sheath that underpinned a sheer dress trimmed in huge organza flowers or a baby doll in ruffled tiers of powder pink.

And look closely and it was plain to see that Chiuri and Piccioli had done their research on classic couture shapes, however abbreviated they might be here. But that will be scant consolation to mournful clients of the ancien régime. "

Well, wasn't that kind of the point? To pitch to a younger costume, since the customer base that supported "the ancien régime" is shrinking rapidly due to, y'know, dying and all?

Not that we're a hundred percent behind the collection. We support its youth-oriented goals and it'll be interesting to see if the house of Valentino can find a young base with a lot of money to spend. But, kittens. If we had to make a list of elements that annoy us the most about modern fashion, we only need to turn to this collection: elaborate origami constructions, bows, overuse of black lace, a fishtail hem, and a lack of color. And yet, there are pieces here we find absolutely beautiful, usually the simpler ones. It's an uneven collection, but the parts we like, we really like.

And let us never speak of the birdcage dress.

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