Pierpaolo Piccioli has gradually veered away from the precious, ultra-femme, heavily embroidered, history-referencing aesthetic he established with former co-creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri at Valentino, and is increasingly incorporating more modern, utilitarian and even sporty elements into runway collections since she left. But for Spring 2018 couture, he gave us a full-on, over-the-top fashion dream (which is what we all want to see in couture) that still fit into his new identity for the house.
This time, he took the subtle '80s glam look he toyed with for ready-to-wear and turned it up to 11. The clothing alone offers a lot to take in, in a good way: It's filled with vivid, jewel-tone colors, a nice antidote to Dior and Givenchy's largely black-and-white offerings; oversized bows and sashes tied on shoulders and hips make a wildly elegant statement, as do oversized ruffles along necklines, waistlines and sleeves. Clean-cut, but billowing outerwear is featured heavily and, as usual, the silhouettes are mostly long and modest.
There is also no shortage of simply stunning eveningwear that we hope is already on its way to Los Angeles for Oscars consideration: From over-the-top florals, to rich-looking, silvery embroidery and beading, to gauzy tulle numbers, to a couple of exciting black gowns that many stylists likely wish were available before the Globes, there was something for nearly every type of Hollywood A-lister.
But the real story is the hats: Made by famed milliner Philip Treacy, seemingly all out of dyed feathers, they are truly, wonderfully ridiculous. Some even looked, incredibly, like jellyfish as they walked down the runway, as you can see above.
We're not sure if it will be on a peacocking street style star or in a dreamy fashion editorial, but it feels certain that we'll see this glamorous headwear again despite it being far too insane for anyone to pull off in real life.
See the full Valentino Spring 2018 Couture collection below.