In the world of fast fashion, Valentino’s Fall 2016 collection is a breath of fresh air. Aside from the beauty of the both bountiful and austere fabrics and carefully selected colours, it’s all about living in the moment. Using ballet and modern dance as a point of inspiration, Valentino’s creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have meditated on the art of slowing down. “We always think fashion is cultural, not just about delivering clothes,” said Chiuri. “We want this show to be about living your moments, feeling each moment uniquely… This job we do is a good opportunity to describe the time we’re in.”
To grab our attention, really experience the clothing and, even more, simply contemplate, they’ve created a range of elegant yet edgy pieces that are impeccably crafted. Taking inspiration from the Ballets Russes, the pieces are mix of feminine dresses and heavy coats, high necks and contrasting proportions, the masculine with the dainty, the casual with the classic. In a way, it’s the living dancer we see – the one who not only lives on stage but also warms up before and leaves after the show. There are layering of dresses and tutus over footless tights, cool sweaters alongside lace, coats tossed over stage-wear.
Valentino Fall 2016 is beautifully contrasting – jeweled and crystal-embroidered pieces and nude-colour tulle dresses sit with jersey, delicate transparencies pair up with deep blacks – and lots of it, champagne-coloured velvet skirts cut through black leather trench coats; and long, slim coats, immaculately tailored, off-set more blocky forms.
Like a modern day castle, English designer, Faye Toogood’s, interpretation of a Mayfair apartment in London is wildly charismatic; a moody rumination where time stands still. A proud English soul pulses throughout, untamed, aloof and playfully eccentric representing all the wonderfulness of this harsh Isle.
Its contemporary architectural junctions and heavily patinated walls create alluring backdrops for 18th century antiques and avant garde pieces, receding or glowing the soft depth of vision captivates like a still life. Always one to celebrate the rich history of industrial design and high-end craft, Toogood’s choice of fixtures – Catchpole&Rye’s silver bath – and ornamentation – such as the collection of kitchen silverware, ring with majestic aristocracy.
It’s this meticulous weaving of the ages that radiates throughout. Toogood’s ‘Spade Chair’ in gold glows, behind is a curiosity cabinet with expressed welded joints and oversized fishnet fronts, housing antique busts and modern ceramics. Likewise her jewellery stand, atop an 18th century credenza, becomes more form than function against a Bridget Riley print. Her contemporaries are recognised throughout, Hilda Hellström, Michael Anastassiades and Martino Gamper to name a few.
It’s not just the immaculate curating of objects that makes this cosmos so alluring, but Toogood’s choice of palette and materiality induce heady feelings of windswept cliffs and tortured vegetation. Stormy blues and greys with highlights of autumnal hues, chunky tapestry, hessian upholstery, this noble hideout is a full immersion experience in all that is good about the UK.