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Italian pop art inspires Valentino to break rules

Accardi, Fioroni, Rama celebrated in new collection

05 March, 16:37
Italian pop art inspires Valentino to break rules (By Elisa Cecchi) (ANSA) - Rome, March 5 - From a Baroque-style couture show inspired by grand Italian opera last month, Valentino's creative duo Tuesday in Paris took a different turn in their fall 2014 women's ready-to-wear collection celebrating Italy's female pop artists. Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli looked for influence from such artists as Carla Accardi, who died just ten days ago, as well as Carol Rama, Giosetta Fioroni and Palma Bucarelli.

These were the rule-breakers of the 1960s and 70s.

Yet the two designers who took on the legacy of founder Valentino Garavani remained true to the house's spirit they have so finely evolved over the past five years.

Bright shades of red, pink, green, black and white appeared on baubles decorating the designs.

Different artistic inspirations mingled, like leather patch-worked into a multicoloured motif recalling Pablo Picasso's harlequins, the silhouettes of shoulders citing Lucio Fontana, the abstract patterns of Accardi and dream-like world of Fioroni quoted in a stunning navy tulle dress with a heart pinned to the chest and stars on the skirt.

The fairy-like vision of the collection continued with the surreal world of Carol Rama interpreted by light cardigan coats and the flowers and butterflies on gowns inspired by Austrian artist Marlies Plank.

The bold optical-art graphic designs were a departure from the romantic allure and opulence of past collections.

But the silhouettes and superb elegance of ensembles was all-out Valentino.

The short dresses sporting sophisticated shirt collars, the design duo's trademark embroidered evening gowns and capes in a variety of materials - from lace to leather, silk and double-face cashmere, which could be pinned on the back to transform a look - were a clear indication of exactly where the fashion house's heart is beating.

Patterns of roses, birds and butterflies that appeared to fly over dresses highlighted the superb handiwork that sets Valentino and its Roman atelier apart.

And the show included the statement regal gowns and streamlined day clothes that are a permanent fixture of the house's collections.

"We always need to create a script, otherwise we are unable to design a collection", Chiuri and Piccioli said on Tuesday.

And their storyline for next fall talked about artists "who strived to be something different from their social context" and inspired their own take on rule-breaking.

"Fashion is about telling a story of beauty and not of uniformity," they said.

"Our fashion says first and foremost: be yourself".

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