Back in October, for his Spring 2018 collection for Valentino, Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli took a walk on the sporty side, showing an impressive array of athletic, utilitarian pieces with the Italian house's signature glamorous twist. Later that month, the brand also unveiled a streetwear-inspired capsule collection — complete with a series of gym-inspired pop-up shops — called VLTN, which consisted of modern, millennial approved items like Rockstud sneakers, tracksuits, baseball caps and even basketballs bearing the updated 1980's logo. But on Sunday evening in Paris, when Piccioli presented his Fall 2018 range, it's clear that he decided to ditch the playing field for the flower garden, as evidenced by his brightly colored, botanical-themed clothing and accessories.
"Pretty" is probably the most trite descriptor to use in reference for a Valentino show, but the 68 romantic, feminine and, at times, quite modest looks that hit the runway were just that. A floral motif was the big story here, with at least a third of the collection's pieces embroidered or printed with giant flower graphics. Evening gowns, daytime frocks, boots, coats and oversized, cozy sweaters were decorated with them, and while some skewed young — like the finale dresses adorned with sequins, sheer yokes, deep-V necklines and a sparky, bell-sleeved stunner modeled by Kaia Gerber — many of the covered-up looks seemed fitting for a more mature customer.
Several loosely draped items, many with scalloped or ruffled hems, were layered to recall delicate flowers in bloom. From high-necked dresses with petal-like shoulder coverings to capes with twisted, voluminous hoods that gave a full-on blossom effect, the theme was conspicuous throughout. Even the monochromatic looks came in some of nature's most notable colors: the rose's unmistakable blood-red, peony pink, moss green, marigold and lavender. The lace was created to look like leaves and garden greenery; other textural elements, like fringe, gauzy open knit, pleats, rhinestone studs and feathers gave the collection some more depth.
As for the accessories, there were silk headscarves aplenty, as well as mismatched statement earrings, a wide array of handbag shapes, both flat and heeled boots (some bedazzled with crystals) in at least a dozen colorways, and tiny box clutches. While there was nary a logo in sight, this collection was unmistakably Valentino, and though there might not be as much millennial fodder here as in recent seasons, we're betting that many of the commercial pieces that hit shelves six months down the road will cater directly to that younger consumer.
So, if your ideal aesthetic is something along the lines of "draped in petals and assorted greenery," you're in luck come fall.
Click through below to see Valentino's full Fall 2018 collection.