Valentino – Women’s Fashion Fall/Winter 06-07 Pret a Porter
The Italian fashion world expresses the widest range of personal taste and tendencies. The Women’s Fall/Winter 2006- 2007 Fashion Shows have been truly marvelous, unique and imaginative. Some designers have been inspired by the epic 50s, 60s and 70s, while others have chosen nationalistic themes, revisiting folkloristic costumes with a modern twist. I have attempted to show some of the not so famous designers but it would be a fashion sin not to talk about the stalwarts of the industry. Valentino cannot be overlooked. He has presented two primary women’s lines, the Pret a Porter and the High Fashion.
Valentino’s Pret a Porter designs widely use black and white. The outfits seem to be a mix between schoolgirl uniforms and cocktail dresses. Frilly lace, puffs, elaborate fabrics and chiffon intermingle creating a contemporary work of art. I am not sure if this lady is ready for the trip to Paris and an evening dinner in Milan or if she is the new kid on the block preparing to take the bull by the horns. The designs are intriguing, classic yet contemporary, clean lines combined with the femininity of ruffled lace. This lady is a mystery yet exudes a confidence of her capabilities and her culture. She does not quite fit in with everyone else. She is color and fire, yet somehow soft and accommodating.
The first group I call scolaresca, which means schoolgirls. Clean and to the point, these outfits play on the contrast of black and white. The line is then offset, even turned inside out with ruffled lace or a diagonal design in the fabric. Just as an optical illusion your mind plays tricks on you. Is she professional, an aggressive man-eater, or soft and cuddly, walk on the beach with the sound of the waves splashing at your feet?
The second group I see as professional attire but just as the rest of this year’s designs the contradictions are evident, or is that subliminal, it is hard to decide. Black and white remain the contrast colors, while the cut is surely business, sequins seem to be a perfect fit. For the more aggressive look, perhaps on a colder day the leather top just seems to be appropriate. This woman is sure of herself and her capabilities. She is sexy without being obvious. She understands that the clothes evidence who she is instead of defining her. She does not need lingerie showing through or cleavage popping out to say that she is Woman!
The third group of designs is more casual in nature. Not that they could not be worn to work, just they are playful, colorful and lively. They are those clothes that say, “Hey look at me, I am fun!” They are the extroverts of the group and they are effective. Several years ago Raffaella brought home several pairs of bright print pants. One with depicted a bamboo field and the other tropical orchids, both on a white background. Men, women, children could not take their eyes off of her. In the elevator I would here young girls asking their mothers where they could find pants like that. At other times women would stop us in the store just to ask where she found them. Still today those pants have the same success, I expect Valentino’s designs will be none the less.
My favorites are the cocktail dresses. They are combined with silk and lace blouses or soft knits with sequins. I particularly like the blue marine highlights that sparkle on the dark background. The elbow length leather gloves are a must on with these dresses. They give an extra elegance to an already fascinating design. Even with these outfits I pick up some contrast. I get the feeling that in these classic cocktail dresses fit for an evening at the Casino of Monte Carlo or a party on some big shot’s yacht have a Gothic message. No matter what the concept is they are very hot.
Finally, you cannot talk about Valentino without the traditional Valentino Red. Although evening attire these dresses are not to be overlooked. The design is Valentino, it cannot be confused.
Tags: Winter Fashion Valentino Women's Fashion Italian Fasion Travel Italy