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Valentino Is the Latest Brand to Take Inspiration From Cuba

It made for a rich and colorful resort 2017 collection, filled with tropical motifs.
A look from Valentino's resort 2017 collection. Photo: Valentino

A look from Valentino's resort 2017 collection. Photo: Valentino

Never ones to shy away from a cultural theme, Valentino designers Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli looked to Cuba — yes, the same country in which Chanel held its cruise 2017 show last month and that has also inspired collections by Proenza Schouler, Stella McCartney and several magazine editorials over the past year — for resort 2017.

While it was tempting dismiss the not-so-original inspiration point, the vibrant, detailed clothes themselves were nothing to scoff at. Specifically, Chirui and Piccioli sought to capture the country's apparent frozen-in-time quality: "A place closed for years in a condition of autarchy that has seen it subtract itself from the evolution of present times," read the collection's magniloquent press release.

That translated into some traditionally feminine, '50s and '60s-inspired silhouettes (like the dress seen above), and a number of other structured, A-line, ankle-length dresses and skirts, often paired with embellished flat sandals. Tropical motifs featured heavily, like hibiscus flowers, pineapples, parrots, monstera leaves and other vegetation, as well as wildlife including butterflies — a species closely associated with both Valentino and Cuba. A print inspired by Cuban cigar boxes adorned wide-leg pants, too.

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These motifs could be found on everything from the most delicate, embroidered lace dresses to more casual pieces like camo jackets and jeans — featuring embroidered patches with a DIY feel. A dress covered top-to-bottom in colorful wooden beads was awe-inspiring. A smattering of casual-feeling fur pieces added to the overall mixed-and-matched, high-low feel; while a series of fairly classic, deep red looks contributed to the collection's nostalgic vibe.

Of course, that doesn't even begin to cover the 80-look (!) collection filled with so many of the intricate details that displayed Valentino's top-notch workmanship, and that made us forget about the fairly obvious point of inspiration. Take it all in in the gallery below.

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