Marisa Berenson in her boarding school years, dressed in the vivid colors of Allen Jones’ drawings, was the sartorial day dream du jour for Valentino creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli. Working in that context gave the designers permission to take their resort lineup in multiple directions, alluding to military and school uniforms as well as Berenson’s famous bohemian taste. There were isolated examples of both styles: A tailored romper with gold buttons worn with knee-high riding boots trod the sexy side of collegiate — a new idea for the house — while a colorful, floral macramé lace mini dress exuded hippie chic.
Grazia Chiuri and Piccioli also sought to blend the school girl and boho fare “to create an unconventional sense of elegance,” said Piccioli. Thus, a leopard print, ponyskin coat worn over a poplin shirt and a cashmere sweater and cropped yellow silk Mikado pants. It was an eclectic mix, made even more so when the designers referenced their own signatures with sophisticated evening gowns, including a long-sleeve, silk tulle style done with multicolored floral embroideries, and a white, beaded and pleated silk maxidress.