Every year a slew of articles titled ‘Is Couture Still Relevant’ get pitched, filed and published by reputable magazines (likely at some point we’ve even been one of them). But, in one fell swoop, the brilliance of Valentino’s latest show that closed the Spring 18 Haute Couture season put those whispers to bed once and for all.
Couture is a ridiculous affair. It’s arguably out-of-touch with reality and cares little for the practical function of clothes. Many fashion houses make great losses putting on extravagant showcases of these whimsy-led designs that cost thousands upon thousands to produce. And, then the few pieces they do sell are custom-made for a handful of private clients, meaning the runway pieces are abandoned almost as soon as the show’s light’s go down with little future-purpose other than a handful of red carpet appearances and glossy magazine editorials.
With all of this to account for (and more), Valentino’s creative director Pierpaolo Piccioli along with milliner to the Royal family Philip Treacy silenced the haters. How? A showstopping collection that reminds every one of the fantasy and feverish creativity driving the collections. At a moment when tired fashion eyes are bored, it was a wicked refresh.
Calling it ‘haute couture of present times’, Piccioli showed gorgeous renditions of trousers and shirts, coats and trenches, gowns and of course headwear. The look was light, airy and magnificent. Billowing jewel-toned capes and taffeta ruffled jackets looked featherweight, the tailoring was soft and flowing and the jubilant aquamarine, fuchsia and sea-foam green feathered plumed hats moved like jellyfish bobbing along the surf of the sea. It was couture of a bygone age translated into the 21st Century with Kaia Gerber as its poster child topped in an explosion of hot pink feather blooms.