PARIS (Reuters) – Italian fashion label Valentino subverted classic evening wear for its Paris Haute Couture show on Wednesday, displaying traditional gowns with unexpected twists.
The designs, from Valentino creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli, at first glance looked to be paying respectful homage to the classics, with traditional lines and forms.
But some of the designs in the show, in the salons of the Salomon Rothschild Hotel, revealed subversive touches.
One dress had crimson red ruffles around the skirt that were slightly too big and pronounced to be in keeping with traditional design.
Another featured a shawl with oversized ruffles that crowded out the model’s face. A pair of elbow-length gloves, worn with an otherwise classic gown, sported exaggerated ruffles sprouting from their tops.
Playing on the traditional use of feather decorations, a pink dress had ostrich feathers sprouting from the waist and extending to the wearer’s chin, framing her face.
Gowns in silk and satin had scoop backs that were more daring than the classic designs they took their cue from: they revealed the tops of the buttocks.
Earrings were classical but with exaggerated proportions, in the form of feather fans the size of a fist that nestled on the models’ collarbones on the end of long chains.
Valentino, owned by Qatari investment vehicle Mayhoola, has long been a go-to label for celebrities, with a reputation established by its now retired founder Valentino Garavani.
Current creative chief Piccioli’s bouffant dresses, and oversized designs in sumptuous taffeta and vibrant colors, have earned him plaudits from the fashion world and a clutch of awards.
(Reporting by Noemie Olive; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Mark Heinrich)