In contrast to the denim trend, the wide leg’s and other elements of 70s nostalgia that is sweeping high-fashion this season, Valentino continues to maintain its position as the highest standard of fashion in creativity, innovation and genuine elegance as made evident by the uniquely cultural and traditional inspirations of this seasons designs. Inspired by the 18th century tradition of the Grand Tour, which was an educational trip taken by young, cultured Europeans to explore Italian art, philosophy and traditions, the Valentino SS15 Runway collection accurately reflects the poetry, grace and beauty of Italy in the age of romance. “In the past, the English and French came to our country to improve their culture; now all Italian people go to England or to New York,” said Maria Grazia Chiuri backstage at the Valentino SS15 Runway show. Clearly, the intention of this collection is to revive classic European culture in the modernist, technology obsessed world, through the art of fashion. Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli touched on many Italian patrimonies, utilising century-old interiors as inspiration for colourful dresses printed with vivid florals and arabesque forms, as exemplified by the series of sleeveless knitted shift dresses. The sleeveless jersey shift dress is printed in a medieval, baroque-esque form in the colours of green, yellow and fuschia and is a statement and elegant piece, as is the long sleeved printed crew neck shift dress in red and ivory. The colours portray the royal elegance of eighteenth century Europe, and the prints highlights the culture, sophistication and beauty of a long-lost time. Valentino appropriately utilises the finery of crepe de chine in this season’s collection to emphasise the historical, cultural and social value of each stunning piece.  The Crepe de Chine printed shirt in multicolours of green, yellow and pink, features the baroque patterning with a pleat at the back for added elegance and embellishment. The crepe de chine is also featured in the elastic waisted pyjama-style pant, which portrays such elegance in print that offsets the relaxed style of design, and keeps with the high-fashion trend of loosely designed pants. Keeping with elasticised waists is the knitted skirt in red and ivory, which features a printed theme which remains consistent with the romantic printing of the season, as does the printed sleeveless v-neck dress with a pleated knitted underskirt, also in red and ivory. "In this moment when everything is synthetic, digital, and flat, you need something more human. To dream, you need to feel something, not just to see," stated Pierpaolo Piccioli, making the new Valentino collection a manifesto of the Grand Tour, as well as modern life.

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