Opera inspires Valentino's opulence and earthiness
Aida and Nabucco add drama to lush fabrics and embroidery02 October, 19:52
The powerful intensity of Giuseppe Verdi's arias mixed with a tribal beat set the tone for intricate embroideries echoing the Nabucco and gilded scarabs evoking Aida, played down by the contemporary feel of matte gold, wax-cast jewellery. The designers said they have recently discovered the magic of grand opera also through the work of top Italian costume designers Piero Tosi, Danilo Donati and Umberto Tirelli. 'Their work is worthy of a haute couture atelier and had a great impact on us', the designers said on the sidelines of the show. 'There is high fashion at the theatre, both on set and backstage'.
Yet while Maria Callas' voice played as soundtrack and opera was a clear inspiration, theatrical references were never obvious in the collection. The timeless elegance inspired by theatre costumes was imbued with modernity, the Italian craftsmanship of the Valentino atelier infused with ethnic touches. A light-blue cotton shirt with a bow was matched with a long embroidered skirt, while playful pants pleated below the knee were made in jeans, Valentino's new answer to this wardrobe staple. Suede-fringed capes and a coat with tasselled seams were highlights along with subtly embroidered tunics and mini dresses and a long green pantsuit. Chiuri and Piccioli worked their own palette mixing once more their burgundy red-and-green trademark colour combination, dark red, and black.
Flat sandals with gold scarab details and studded leather headbands gave an ancient Roman touch to accessories which promise to be a hit with Valentino's stylish buyers along with fringe handbags - fringes being the detail du-jour with a newly acquired polish seen across catwalks.