I’m…I’m underwhelmed. And a little sad, maybe. But mostly confused. Is this what Valentino Haute Couture is supposed to look like? Are they serious? I think we’ve been tricked. Fooled. Bamboozled.

It kind of reminds me of what would happen if Balenciaga and Valentino had a baby (the term ‘Valenciaga’ has already been coined elsewhere, I can’t take credit for it), and a few of the tight minidresses are reminiscent of Herve Leger, particularly with the neon inserts that were also in the previous Leger spring collection. Which is all fine and good, except neither of those designers make couture – they do a dandy job at pret-a-porter, but this is couture week, people.

Some of the signature Valentino ruffles, flowers and bows were present, but their inclusion at time seemed cursory rather than enthusiastic. And there were, of course, a few gowns that will look beautiful against a red carpet and over which I’m sure Rachel Zoe is currently having some sort of conniption.

The rest of it was just…the Balenciaga collection that Nicolas Ghesquiere forgot, and I’d say that I mean that in a good way, but I obviously don’t. It was reductive and mostly bland, but with a few truly odd moments – a ruched jumpsuit with a camel toe problem, non sequitur neon inserts, a red leather minidress that came out of NOWHERE.

It would be one thing if this was bad couture, but it’s just bad, with no indications of the kind of intricacy, construction, or care that go into forming and finishing a garment by hand. In their second couture season as the heads of Valentino, Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli failed to actually make a couture collection. The ideas and realization hardly seem above that of ready-to-wear, and even then, I’ve seen several brands do these looks better as recently as last season. Chiuri and Piccioli have been quoted saying that they wanted to make couture for the younger generation with this collection – trust me, this is not what we want.

            

Photos via Fashionologie.com

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