Valentino SPRING 2014 COUTURE-”Sartorial Bel canto”.



Bel canto (Bel-Canto) along with a number of similar constructions (“bellezze del canto”/”bell’arte del canto”), is an Italian opera term meaning ”beautiful singing” In terms of fashion,could very well stand for the Valentino Spring 2014 Couture,as it was based at the old,Italian tradition of Opera and its paraphernalia.Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli made Italian opera the centerfold of the collection,designing garments as a tribute to various famous female leading opera roles. Maria Grazia Chiuri stated that:“we wanted to describe the character of each [opera’s] protagonist in a primordial way”.This was a tricky was to go as such a tribute could go masquerade-like,especially with opera’s artisans having painted the show’s runway and backdrop. Yet the very concept was an interesting one,interpreted with the grace and creativity that is to be found in most Valentino collections.The likes of Traviata,Lucia,Carmen  inspired outfits based in each character as described by the initial score,even tough the connections to the influences were stretched so far i couldn’t see the ”primordial” connections.A monastic sense where present in certain ”heavy” outfits but excuse me if i prefer the same theme interpreted by Dolce et Gabbana. However,the gowns were beautiful,a color palette of mostly earthly tones along with gold embellishment and feathers on tutu-like skirts or the ”Traviata opening”,with the actual score featured on a transparent white tulle dress-a visual reference to the original black and white of the opera scores.There was also a strong reference to animals,something that i can only attribute to the relevant Saint Saens opera but still some of an awkward moment regarding the initial opera-related outfits.A second ‘leitmotiv’ perhaps?
There was much theatricality in this collection,perhaps more than needed but taking it as a concept-based one,an ”exercise to sartorial mastery”,it was by all means a successful one.I have no doubt that those great outfits will find their place on stage or gracing a celebrity’s public presence,but that’s the thing with concept collections,they are praised by mane but few can actually wear them.

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