For Valentino’s fall/winter 2014-15 haute couture collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli seem to have again ventured through art historical archives, this time settling on Pre-Raphaelite art. Engaging with their city’s past, Chiuri and Piccioli explored the regality and paganism of a bygone, Imperial Rome.
Rich black, white, silver, gold, and emerald hark back to an empress’ jewels as Pythagorean shapes and intricate swatches of tapestry revived the echo of some Homeric tale. Frothy silks and near-nude ensembles conjured up images of Greek goddesses: Aphrodite rising from the sea or Artemis sprinting through the woods.
Despite its labyrinthine details, the collection reverberated with simplicity. The garments’ clean silhouettes paired well with Valentino’s flat, cross-laced sandals, getting to the core of classical ease. Dreamy and delicate rather than manneristic or overabundant, the collection proved that Chiuri and Piccioli can make anything—even antiquities—feel exquisitely modern.