There is a kind of magic when a girl wears anything created by Valentino. The magic lies within the distinct qualities of the brand, qualities which include the combination of regal elegance, playfulness, and 21st-century-glamour. Such a combination is difficult to attain, but the brand never fails to do so. With their Fall/Winter 2013 collection, such attributes were found, in the dozens of sheer and raw silk gowns, floral concoctions, and embellished dresses. Valentino Garavani, the founder of the iconic fashion house, once said, "I love beauty. It's not my fault." His immense love for beauty and grace has made an impression on his successors, Chiuri and Piccioli, who have incorporated the ideals and aesthetics of Garavani into their own creations, ones of strong, everlasting beauty.
Even before the clothes begin to speak to you, the hairstyles do. Each model's look was topped off a delicate side-braid, reinforcing a certain air of innocence that the collection held. As Hamish Bowles, in his always-accurate manner, described, "[the models] resembled novices in a particularly affluent convent." This much is humorously true, but a closer look at the clothing can bring you a little farther away from that statement. Scrumptious cream-colored coats are embellished with stiff white collars and clean lines. Silhouettes, in a beautifully understated manner, were less imaginative and more formal. While there was no lack of color in the collection, the hues were distinctly regal and made for winter. There were deep shades of red, cream, sapphire, along with classic ensembles in black, as seen below.
This part of the collection was much more somber than the rest. With stunning cuts (notice the perfectly-done scoop neck dress on the right) and hints of lace, the toned-down black looks were still a significant part of the F/W 2013 collection. The white lace collar details were a lovely aspect of little black dresses done in silk. Though devoid of color, the contrast between black and white enhanced each look beautifully. Slim white embellishments made an appearance at the bottom of each sleeve, while black headbands shone out on the heads of models. The designers behind the looks hoped to achieve "something very spiritual and poetic", and have done so evidently.
This is by far the most amazing part of this collection. In dozens of shades of blue – from midnight to sky to prussian to royal, the many blends of blue created a vision of delight. Though difficult to name exactly, the prints featured in the collection were another wonderful reflection of Valentino's unique craftsmanship. Vogue solved the mystery behind the print, revealing that it was inspired by the Delft ceramics that Valentino himself used in his 1968 collection. Each print was painstakingly embroidered with beads and textured brocades. It was hard to find a flaw in the collection, really, apart from a few misplaced scallop-trimmed dresses. As I am reviewing this show, I am astounded by my own lack of words to describe the beauty it possesses. Unlike other Fall collections, it was not about doing something particularly new and bold; instead, it was about reinventing Valentino's classic designs. The magnificent blue dresses above, mixed with the print, are a perfect example of this. The designers behind Valentino are taking inspiration from past collections, and bringing them back with precision and beauty.