Neither red nor traditional day suits were anywhere in sight at the Valentino spring ready-to-wear show. The collection presented by Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli couldn’t have been further removed from the fashion house’s heritage—and the designers won plaudits for such a bold move. They told WWD how they’re shaping their own vision for Valentino, with a clear nod to the tastes of a young generation.
This story first appeared in the November 9, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD: Your first collections were clearly inspired by the classic Valentino style, while the last couture and rtw shows seemed to tread into a new direction. Why?
Maria Grazia Chiuri: The first collections were the starting point where Mr. Garavani had left us. We wanted to keep a link with the past, without any clean breaks. Since the fall couture show in July, we have expressed a point of view and a vision that are more personal and precise, for a young woman who is contemporary, decisive and, in a way, more dangerous.
WWD: In these last two collections there was a preponderance of cocktail or evening looks. Why not daywear?
Pier Paolo Piccioli: We wanted to tell a fairy tale, trying to translate dream elements into a contemporary dimension. We wanted to let fantasy emerge. For daywear, we have proposed a new vision, with contemporary, feather-light T-shirts mixing embroidery, lace and couture details; embroidered shorts with bows, in light pastel colors with unusual shading, or masculine jackets with feminine details—a mix of unexpected contradictions.
WWD: What kind of customer did you address with these collections?
M.G.C.: We want to address a modern, young jet set. We think of Alice Dellal, with her sense for art and her aristocratic charm; Eugenie Niarchos, with her strong personality; Bianca Brandolini d’Adda, so cool and modern; Natalia Vodianova, a modern princess.
WWD: What’s the biggest challenge in your task to reinvigorate Valentino?
P.P.P.: We have a global vision for Valentino, which touches all areas of the fashion house: store planning, events, the product and advertising campaigns. We want to express our new personal creative vision and create collections that will appeal to new generations.