>> A year after Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pier Paolo Piccioli dropped their first Valentino couture collection — an ode to the archives — the designers have entirely switched direction. "We think that to keep a future in couture, it's necessary to bring a new customer who wants something cooler," Chiuri said backstage. Piccioli added, "We tried to make new strategies for going forward. To do that we have to experiment with new silhouettes . . . because we want to call the young girls. They can be new customers for couture because they want beauty, they want personalized things."
This injection of youth involved Alice Dellal walking the runway and sheer ribbon blindfolds created by Philip Treacy; the graphically colorful collection is already earning comparisons to Nicolas Ghesquiere's Balenciaga, with some terming it "Valenciaga." But Piccioli says the collection is "about a woman wandering in this beautiful Eden. It's a dream. Couture is a dream."