After the sudden departure of Alessandra Fachinetti (she was only at the helm of the Valentino creative team for a mere two seasons), the higher-ups at Valentino appointed, what they hope, will be the dynamic duo that restores Valentino to its previous grandeur. And so, for Valentino’s Spring 2009 Couture show, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli debuted their first collection on the international fashion stage.

Filling Valentino’s shoes is no small feat, and, to the credit of the Chiuri-Piccioli team, there definitely was evidence of the Valentino of yore; fan-pleated coats, stylish crystal-embroidered suits, self fabric bows and floral appliqués, lace overlays, and of course his signature draped red dresses. These fashions came in a range of jewel tones, including a plethora of greens, blue-greens, magentas, nudes, black, and, of course, it definitely wouldn’t be a Valentino show if red did not play a leading role. 

Although there were some high points in the show . . .Uh-hem, that sexy, stylish number Flavia de Oliveira strutted down the runway in, overall the collection felt disjointed.  It was as if, in an effort to exude as much Valentino-ness as possible, the Chiuri-Piccioli team included too many elements instead of making a stronger more concise statement.  The prim and proper ladylike looks were awkward on the young models; colors and embellishment went from one end of the gambit to another without any strong common threads. It was evident that the Chiuri-Piccioli team’s background was in accessories, because the embellishment and details were lovely, but, unfortunately, that took attention away from what is really important – creating an overall amazing look.  

However, one cannot pass judgment so soon in the game.  This duo definitely shows signs of promise; they can identify the Valentino staples, and they have a refined attention to the details of fashion.  In the end, what they need to do is focus on the bigger picture and hone in on how to combine and edit all of the elements in order to make a stronger, more cohesive look. They will certainly get their second chance in a few weeks, when the fashion world will again revisit Paris for the Fall ’09 RTW shows.   

Images courtesy of the Fashion Spot forums.