Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have really locked in on the princess dream dress at Valentino. There’s always something regal about their clothes. Their diffusion line Red Valentino still fits into the princess motif, but this girl is all good times and frivolity. None of the haute melancholy of Valentino. Chiuri and Piccioli have described prior Valentino collections as having been specifically about “memory, not nostalgia”. The Red Valentino girl, inversely, is the dreamy type. The slightly coquettish, unbridled sort. Nostalgia is her fuel. They also like to think that she does “everything in reverse”. Even the way she dresses herself. What feels right is what’s going out the door with her.
Duality has always been something this duo loves to toy around with. Where the thought of turning a ‘dream into a reality’ is a normal enough theme to gesticulate, Chiuri and Piccioli much prefer their girl to turn ‘reality into imagination’. They gave her a first-class island-hopping trip around the world, with stops in Saint Tropez, Hawaii and the Caribbean. It was hard to tell what they all were, but every section seemed to have its own flower and each had its own principal fabrics. Saint Tropez was filled with refined embroidered silk lace frocks and solid white perforated leather dresses. In Hawaii she played the lady in a sensational raffia skirt suit and threw caution to the fray in the Caribbean with melon orange and cobalt gingham skirts matched with denim cowboy shirts. Talk about doing things in reverse. Rhyme or reason has no place in the Red Valentino girl’s feel good time itinerary.
One notable look was a brown suede cowboy shirt over an A-line skirt with a dreamy, ghostly even, forest print. The print worked beautifully on the bottom of an A-line dress, while on top the print continued above a canopy until palm trees and the bright shining sky was revealed above. It almost looked like an unmentioned fourth island imprinted on her form – a deserted island the Red Valentino girl owns, where she goes to sojourn from all the excesses of the ‘it-girl’ life. Who has time for Upper East Side debutante ennui when the world is your oyster? It’s always summer somewhere, right?