News & Runway

Valentino Haute Couture Fall 2010

It’s no surprise that Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli have publicly stated that they are hoping to capture a new, younger customer with their work at Valentino.

Last season’s couture collection was more Herve Leger than anything one might traditionally associate with the famed Italian couture house.

The duo has come under no shortage of scrutiny ever since, incurring criticism from Valentino Garavani and Giancarlo Giammetti. What’s even worse is that few notable up-and-coming young stars have worn frocks from the house.
Alternatively, with both Sarah Jessica Parker and Chloë Sevigny recently opting for Valentino couture frocks, the label seems to be benefiting from a change of luck.
The goal of luring a younger customer has allowed the design team to focus more on everyday couture looks this season, similar to Alexis Mabille’s approach. But unlike Mabille, the Valentino collection seems to have once again missed the mark, alienating their core customer while arguably failing to attract a new one.
The best looks are the ones that play up Valentino signatures – bows, rosettes, red – notably a black mini with a hugely oversized white rosette smack in the front of it. Unfortunately, those looks were few and far between. It goes almost without saying that the collection was well-crafted, as the house has some of the best craftsmen at their disposal.

The awe-inspiring craftsmanship can only go so far to heighten the appeal of redundant 60’s mod-inspired, baby doll dresses. Most of the looks failed to come across as modern or fresh, and the short-short silhouettes will flatter very few. Sure there were beautiful, almost cutesy, looks – but with couture appealing to such a limited demographic as it is, it’s hard to picture the customer for these designs.