PFW SS16: Valentino
Last season's Valentino show featuring Zoolander stars Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson gave critics and spectators alike reason to talk about, but this year it had to do with cultural notions which were a tad bit more controversial than intended—along with the impeccable couture-level craft displayed on the runway, of course.
Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli looked to tribal Africa for inspiration this season (something that resonated with the current ongoing political situation) while injecting a dose of couture romanticism with elaborate stitching and embroidery. There were tribal Maasai beading on necklines, majestic feathered sleeves and leather paneling in the front of dresses that evoke an armour-like countenance, and for an extra touch of etherealness, fringed silk over tulle column gowns that had silver bird motif embroidered beading all over. It takes a certain level of finesse to interlace cultural influences with Western silhouettes, and it shows that Chiuri and Piccioli have demonstrated it in the most refined manner possible.