If you had any thoughts that Valentino being left in the hands of the house's longtime accessories designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli was something the higher-ups would try to sweep past as quickly as possible, think again. The pair's first collection as (temporary?) creative directors for Valentino - Spring 09 Couture which hits the runway tomorrow night at 6:30 local time - will be streamed live at three different Valentino boutiques in Paris, Rome and Milan (obviously, we're betting it'll hit the internet, too). Valentino's promising that the streaming aspect will add an "urban and sophisticated, dreamlike and digital dimension," which is quite a change of pace from last season's Facchinetti couture, which was widely described as "quiet" and "graceful". So does a celebrated entrance mark the beginning of the new longstanding tastemakers at Valentino? Guess we'll know by Thursday morning - Valentino's people will certainly make their true feelings known.
Valentino Haute Couture Spring 2011: Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli Hit Their Stride
**Fashionista contributor Long Nguyen is the co-founder/style director of Flaunt. PARIS--It was almost two years ago to the day that Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli took over as designers for Valentino and presented their first couture show in the sumptuous hall at the Sorbonne with the full support of its founder. In their past couture collections, the duo has tried to insert their own ideas while still maintaining the essentials of the Roman house, often resulting in confused collections. How much tradition to respect and how much to let go? But the haute couture collection Chiuri and Piccioli presented Wednesday evening at the Rothschild Hotel proved that they have now started to speak on their own terms and showed just how far they have come since their debut couture collection for Valentino. The collection begged the question: who is the women who wears Valentino couture? I keep thinking that the woman who would wear that sheer dress with the butterfly bow is one that would pose nude with just the bow for a Helmut Newton portrait. And these confident and sexual women have plenty to choose from in a collection comprised of soft, light clothes in longer silhouettes--a layered organza dress in camel with a ruffled neck, a double crepe dress in ivory, or a sheer black organza dress with embroidered organza flowers.