Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli tend to design feminine and exquisitely detailed clothing for all seasons, with modest but youthful cut and fit. Their resort 2016 collection, which debuted earlier this week, was an experiment in high meets low, bohemian glamour, and was noticably funkier than previous collections.
A couple of the looks were the floor-length, sleeved gowns with high-cut necks that we're used to seeing from Valentino, which use sheerness to keep from seeming stuffy, and intricate embroidery to mesmerize the audience.
Special to this collection, and contributing to the high-low, uptown-meets-downtown appeal, were Chuck Taylor-like sneakers that most of the models wore, dressing down the gowns considerably. Ecclectic pieces like the camoflage coat above also added more dimension to the collection, so just when we think we have "the Valentino gown" figured out, they keep us on our toes.
Other looks, however, were reminiscent of festival wear, and relied on the delicate embellishments and accessories to remain as special as ever. Feminine touches keep each garment looking exquisite and like a treasure, not to be confused with cheap Coachellawear.
Also notable were a couple of pieces that used what skeptacle onlookers criticized as "Navajo Print," whose use in mainstream fashion has been called out in recent years as offensive and plagiaristic to Navajo artists. However, they may not know that Chiuri and Piccioli collaborated on these prints with Christi Belcourt, a member of the Aboriginal Canadian Métis tribe.
The sneakers peeking through the sheer skirt are my favorite touch. I can't help thinking Piccioli and Chiuri pour over every stitch of each design, as well as every hair of each model to make sure the styling communicates their vision. Notice they also add fringe details, completing an exquisite bohemian life we want to live, in their clothes.