For some people, the pursuance of fashion is associated with narrow definitions of beauty where access is only available to the exclusively and ridiculously rich. For others, the pursuance of fashion is revered, respected and available to all, with one name at the helm – Valentino. In the last seven years, Valentino has come far in changing the mindsets of fashion critics by delivering collections that are diverse, connected and accessible to the modern woman. Creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli’s Valentino conveys a modern message that celebrates individuality, which is a rarely explored concept in the luxury landscape. Having recently won the International Award from the CFDA, Chiuri and Piccioli demonstrate their ability to be ahead of the game by acknowledging that modern women are now mixing their luxury with high street and vintage – and look good doing it. Embracing social media and digital storytelling, which is an opportunistic prospect that is still yet to be embraced by most luxury designers, has been crucial to the label’s development and ongoing success. “Before, fashion used to be only ‘for some women,’” says Piccioli in Refinery 29, “But today, fashion is about culture, it’s not just about clothes. Even people not interested in fashion can be influenced by fashion in the end.” Emphasising their passion for individuality, Piccioli adds, “What we love are women who are different and run their lives with the differences they have, and with the passions and attitudes they have” (Refinery 29).  Piccioli also states his intention to be a “different designer,” believing there are different types of beautiful and rejecting the out-dated, single-minded notions of fashion. This season, Chiuri and Piccioli collaborated with British textile designer Celia Birtwell and Italian pop-artist Giosetta Fioroni, to create a lovely floral storied Pre-AW15 collection that is loved by Miroslava Duma and Daphne Guiness. Printed separates and cropped pieces feature in the collection, which accurately portrays the fusion of timeless modernity and feminine elegance that can only be mastered in a Valentino collection.  The Valentino ¾ sleeve jumper in 100% cashmere features a crew neck and cropped knit style. Coming in staple colours of nero and avorio, the Valentino cropped knit is an elegant basic that can be styled to cater to any casual or smart casual occasion. Birtwell’s contribution to Valentino’s Fall 2015 was the floral embroideries inspired by Sandro Botticelli’s La Primavera. The camougarden story, as seen in Vogue Australia and Elle UK, is the pinnacle of elegance in easy-to-wear, functional pieces that are perfectly suited to the fashionable woman-on-the-go. The Valentino long, camougarden skirt in nero features the thematic, floral brocade print and is 100% silk. When paired with its counterpart Valentino brocade, camougarden cape, also in nero and 100% silk, the outfit is a statement Valentino look that radiates timelessness, elegance and class, with a touch of high-street glam.

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