When you think of Valentino, you think of garments and accessories adorned with the classic studs in typical Valentino style. However, this season was a total game changer; the SS16 collection came with cultural influences from Africa. Now when you think of Africa you think of rust colours, rustic and chunky jewellery that many women wear as staple pieces. Not only is Africa the world’s second largest continent, it hosts a large diversity of ethnicities, cultures and languages. The two masterminds behind Valentino, the creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccoli, used Africa as their main theme for the spring / summer show.
From start to finish showed true craftsmen ship using different materials and embellishment techniques to show the world after decades that the Italian fashion house can still provide opulent prints and styles to this day. The show consisted of a lot of laser cut leather pieces ranging from cropped jackets to minis, feathers which were used as cuffs around the necks and wrists and micro hand beading on tulle dresses.
Colours were rich rusts, besotting browns, bottle greens and burgundy; the hottest colour in many autumnal outfits. Not only did they use a choice of colours to fit everyone’s taste, but different shapes were used from short minis to long flowing long skirts. Valentino, the leader in Italian glamour knows what women want, a choice as women’s individually is important and sets us apart from each other.
The attention to detail featured on every single piece in the collection shows that the haute couture is not a process which happens overnight, the price tag can confirm it’s a lot more hard work. Jewellery and accessories were not forgot about, they were as detailed as the garments. Ceramic necklaces were laid on top of the feather-embellished dresses; delicate metal tribal necklaces were also a noted piece in the show. Bags had subtle reminders that the Valentino studded vision was still alive with smaller studs placed between colourful beading and leather. Each bag has a distinct look but still looked connected to the overall collection.
Hair and make-up resembled African women with fresh, dewy faces. The make-up looked almost non-existent, focusing on the models nature features. Hair was braided and wrapped loosely in up dos. The combined together replicated a tribal look, which added to the feel of the clothing.
After this season, Valentino has reached new heights, it’s a collection that includes so many different tastes and styles, there is not an piece that won’t complement and flatter someone’s personal style.