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All things Frida Kahlo were on the menu for Valentino’s Resort collection — moreso an ode to her vibrant essence, unabashed confidence, and love of color than references to her actual artwork. Since Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have taken over the creative helm, they’ve really tasked themselves with creating an original space for the brand that is fashion-forward, refined yet playful, and sultry if desired. They frequently hark back to Valentino Garavani’s archives, but feel no need to prescribe to any set formula or rules when designing for the new-age Valentino woman: an adjustment for those loyal fans of the brand, though they’re catching on quite quickly.
There are no constraints at the house of Valentino, thus the assortment was robust with eighty-three looks in total. This gave the brand ample time to play and play they did with a broad range of designs. Charming gowns covered in florals and fauna felt like signatures while an army green bomber, cargo, and parka jacket were still playful with nature-inspired embroidery, though they were steeped in more functionality.
There was definitely a 70’s vibe at play with high-waist suede embroidered skirts, a tie-neck blouse and tailored trousers layered under a menswear-inspired trench coat, and a one-shoulder fiery red wide-leg jumpsuit that definitely would have been worn at Studio 54 in its heyday.
That overarching Frida Kahlo influence showed itself with the models’ braided hairstyles, undulating ruffle detailing, and fringe on a suede dress and off-the-shoulder tunic that was a clear nod to the Mexican countryside.
Mariah Carey would be quite pleased with the brand’s use of butterflies in a camouflage print on a button-front blouse, shorts, a blazer, and track pants, as well as a black leather jacket anchored with fringe detailing that seemed to dive a bit too far into retro territory.
The most electric pieces in the collection riffed on a 1973 archival print from the fashion house, comprised of kaleidoscopic chevron and rectangular patterns. When sprawled across rainbow-hued mink jackets, calf-length frocks, pleated tie-neck numbers, and even shoulder bags, Chiuri and Piccioli ensured that any woman who wears their designs for the season will have all eyes on her — that’s the Valentino way after all.
What do you think of the latest from Valentino?