Dispatches from Paris: Valentino

Geometric patterns of silk

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The Valentino designers, Pierpaolo Piccioli and Maria Grazia Chiuri, looked beyond their beloved hometown Rome – their usual source of inspiration and the city that defines their aesthetic – and instead drew on Africa.

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It wasn’t apparent from the first outfit, a plain brown ankle-length smock dress with a long slender U neckline, but a few looks in and we were scribbling down ‘feathered sleeves, bead embroideries, wood necklaces, bone earrings, mask patterns, horse-hair cuffs, glossy raffia fringing.’

The escalation of detail, the kind only this particular world famous couture house could possibly yield, was as staggering as ever.

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Here’s what we can do with leather and suede: drill it with tiny bronze studs, splice it with transparent lace, make fishnet with it, slash it to ribbons!

See what we did there with lace as fine as angel hair? Embed it with geometric patterns of silk!

It was maximalism to the max – exquisite, for sure – but it did make you yearn for the designers’ long regal dresses, devoid of embellishment (ok, so they had ruffles here, pleats there) in gorgeous bursts of yellow, deep red and forest green.

But of course, the ever-growing, well-heeled Valentino tribe will love it all.

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