On Sunday afternoon in Paris, at the ornate Hôtel Salmon de Rothschild — a venue typically reserved for the house's couture shows — Valentino presented its first collection under the sole creative direction of Pierpaolo Piccioli after his partner of eight years, Maria Grazia Chiuri, left the house for Dior. And while the female half of the duo may be gone, the spring 2017 collection confirmed that the brand's romantic femininity is still very much in tact.
Despite Piccioli's many years at the house, he characterized this offering as a "new beginning" in the show notes, aiming to "forget about" the house's history while still "retaining the essence." The results felt more modern, minimalist and wearable than past collections, lacking much of the ornamentation and historically inspired silhouettes we tend to expect from Valentino. Models walked in flat sandals and low heels, often hands-free with tiny cross-body bags hanging effortlessly at their hips. The aesthetic was loose and flowy — from silk trousers, to ankle-length frocks that could go from day to night, to full-on lace gowns that still weren't overly fussy.
Aside from Piccioli's references to the painter Hieronymus Bosch in several prints throughout the collection, as well as an ample use of pink (the color of the season), there was no one overpowering theme. The show notes referenced a "punk idea of humanism," which seemed to manifest in a certain individuality to each look, which together made up an undeniably pretty — but not overly precious — assortment of clothes.
See them all in the gallery below.